glutton_for_punishment_hat-r26f989937ffb4ad1bfaeb82a8781c695_v9wfy_8byvr_324Apparently I am a glutton for punishment.

And, I’m also a bit of a glutton.

My last day being a practicing lawyer was supposed to be this Thursday, April 30.  I was mentally prepared (and both trepidatious and excited) for that day when one of my partners called me about three weeks ago.

Law Partner: “Hey. So, you know that case you are transitioning to me?”

Me: “Yup.”

LP: “Well, it looks like it is scheduled to go to trial June 1.”

Me: “Yup.”

LP: “Don’t suppose you’d like to stick around and help me try it?”

Me: “Um…I’d have to check with B.” (Mentally thinking that B might, literally, kill me if I work for another 6 weeks – particularly work to get ready for a trial…not exactly “part time” work)

LP: “Well, check with him and let me know.  I wasn’t sure if it was cruel to ask you since we all agreed here that you wouldn’t be able to help yourself from saying yes. But, since I could definitely use the help, I figured I’d just be cruel…”

Ah, these people know me too well.

So now I do not have 3 more days of work left, but 43 (or so) more days.  And part of me is thrilled; SO excited to try a case with my wonderful LP and the wonderful client we represent in this case.  And part of me is, like, “WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!”  Sigh.


C is shaking her head too…

In this midst of the hand-wringing over my job, B and I have also been continuing our “gluttony” quest of checking off restaurants on the Washingtonian’s List of the 100 Very Best Restaurants.  We’ve hit No. 1 and No. 95, and 15 others in between, with one more (No. 11) scheduled for later in May and a couple of others that we plan to check off before we go.


I have to admit that I am not sure I agree wholeheartedly with the placement of each of these restaurants on the list – for instance No. 22 was head and shoulders above No. 15 both in terms of food, and service (price too, admittedly, but still…) and No. 95 was better (and way cheaper) than No. 54, but, nevertheless, it’s been a fun (and quite delicious) way to spend our “date” time in D.C.


It’s also shocking to me given the quantity I feel like we have eaten in this quest that we have not even cracked 1/4 of the 100 restaurants on the list.  But the quest will continue – at least until we roll our way onto a flight to FullSizeRender (13)Kinshasa – so maybe we’ll at least reach the 25 number before we leave.


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In other exciting news, we found out this morning that we got our housing assignment in Kin – and that we got a house! HOORAY! We will be in a compound with a number of other families with young children, and we will have our own yard (Miller, the Dog, is doing his happy dance) and our own pool. SO EXCITED!

We really are doing our best to enjoy our time left in the D.C. and the U.S., and C and I are about to head out on several cross-country adventures to visit family and friends, but after eight months here we are also itching to get on our way to the D.R.C.

With somewhere to live it feels like the countdown is ON!

Shots and Black Passports

In the last few weeks we have begun the business of having many holes poked in us in preparation for living in Africa.  Through those holes many foreign viruses have been injected with the hope that our bodies will be fooled into producing T-lymphocytes and antibodies so that, should we meet up with the same foreign viruses in Congo, our bodies will be prepared.  So far we’ve all had Yellow Fever, and the first two of the three Rabies series.  B and I have also had Polio and Hep B, and B has had Hep A.  “Luckily” for me I got Hep A when I went to Belize, and C got Hep A, B and Polio as part of her regular vaccinations.  Since B and I haven’t had polio since we were under 25 (only a couple of years ago obviously…) we had to have it again.  None of them have been too bad – at least not for B and me.


Unfortunately, poor C has been particularly unlucky since at her four year “well child” visit in early March she got four shots as a matter of course, and since then we’ve dragged her to the medical unit at FSI twice for three more shots, with two left to go.  Yesterday morning, when I went to wake her up, I rubbed her back, handed her a cup of milk and her first words were “Mummy, do I have to get a shot today?”  Ug.  The second time we went back she crawled under the chair in the examination room and announced that we couldn’t see her so she couldn’t get a shot.  Yeah, I wish that worked kid…

B and C will also have to have a typhoid shot, but we’ll wait until closer to our leave date for them to get that since it only lasts two years.  I opted for the “oral” typhoid pills, which means that I’m already inoculated against typhoid – and my immunity is good for 5 years.  C wasn’t eligible to take the pills, but it was an easy choice for me: take four pills over eight days and be immune for 5 years, or have a shot and be immune for two years (and keep having to get boosters).  I don’t mind shots, but why get an extra one (or two) when you don’t have to?

What was bizarre about taking the pills was that there is a huge label on the bag I was given that said “LIVE TYPHOID VIRUS.”  Uh, what? I have live typhoid in my fridge? Once I started taking them I was walking around NOVA and DC thinking “I’m walking around with live typhoid in me…weird.”  Knowing how flipped out people get about things they don’t understand I kept imagining people’s reactions on the Metro if I suddenly said “I’m sorry, I carrying typhoid inside me, could I have a seat to myself?”  I’m betting I would have gotten a whole car to myself.


And just in case anyone is wondering, all those horror stories about rabies vaccines that have to be given in your stomach are related to folks who get bitten and have to have the vaccine plus immunoglobulin, for us it was a little shot (three times over a 6 week period) in our arm – not a big deal.

The other big news is that we got our diplomatic passports – the black ones.  They sure are pretty…

These are for our “official” travel.  When we travel for fun we’ll use our regular blue passports.  C and I are planning a trip to London in September to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary and I’m guessing we’ll use our blue passports to get into the U.K., but our black ones to get back into D.R.C. when we return.  Luckily I’m used to juggling passports having spent most of my life with two passports and the last few years with three…now I have four…wonder how many people can say that?

passportsThings are definitely moving along…six more weeks of language training for B, then his consular training, then “crashbang” then…Africa…wow.