Monday, December 1, 2008

How Did I Get Here?

It's a question I've found myself asking quite often the past few years of my life.  In my heart, I'm still that little girl from Cheeseland who'd rather have a glass of milk than a glass of wine (or of anything else for that matter), anytime.  And then here I am in Nigeria, interning for part of the Federal Government, talking to the American Ambassador's parents!  wtv?!

It hit me really hard this past week, and Thanksgiving added to it.  I was sitting in a group at the Thanksgiving Day Dinner, just chit-chatting with a bunch of people, and watching these two adorable little children run and play, and I started thinking about when I had been to the Embassy earlier in the week to meet with one of the people now part of this group. 

The gentleman is really nice, and from the bits of interaction I've had with him, I think very intelligent (that's probably a pre-req for working in the Embassy, I guess).  His Boston College lanyard around his neck put me at ease a bit.  Ba Tim went there, so it somehow made things more familiar.  Although, the Patriot's clasp on the bottom of the lanyard made me frown a bit inside.  Where I come from, there's only one real football team. ;) 

His office had these great, very Nigerian, calendars in the back corner.  Candid pictures of him above the months, probably snapped at some meeting or conference or something.  But the pictures on the side of his desk, those were the ones that made me start a little bit.  Those were the ones that came into my mind when I was wondering how I wound up at this Embassy Thanksgiving Day dinner.  Him and Colin Powell, him and Condy, him and W.  It was like when I go to Mr. Embassy-Man's house and there's pictures of Mr. Embassy-Man and Clinton all over the place. 

How on earth am I sitting here talking to someone who's been that close to a President?!  I thought Mr. Trizzle's picture of him and the Congress-woman he worked for was really neat.  And I remember, when I was 10, thinking that my mommy knowing Rosemary Potter was the coolest thing in the world.  She had to be important; she was in our Wisconsin Blue Book!  Along with the state beverage, milk, and the state wild flower, wood violet, and the state domesticated animal, Guernsey cow.  (No, I did not look those up, so I don't know if they've changed in the past umpteen years.  And in case you care, or are Wendy, the state fossil is the trilobite.)   To me,  presidents and politicians aren't real people, they're like movie stars or something.  You can't actually meet or talk to them!

I suppose it makes sense that people who work at the Embassy know the President.  They are diplomats after all, representing the country and stuff.  And I guess the President appoints the ambassadors, so he'd have to know them.  So what I find even more surprising than these guys having pictures with the President is that both this gentleman and Mr. Embassy-Man have friends that work at Google.  How can they both know such lucky people?  Of course, as the Ambassador pointed out, Mr. Embassy-Man seems to know everyone.


RandomlySane said...

:-) Luck and good judgment? Willingness to be adventurous? I know you'll have some amazing memories!!

MaryRuth said...

Yeah, I guess it is pretty impressive to actually meet a president--but come on...its Dubya! I'd rather shake hands with the guy at the gas station. I'd probably faint away if I ever met Clinton or Obama though.
The state dance is THE POLKA, a fact I just learned the other day when I watched a totally kick-a** documentary about polka in WI

goldenrail said...

RS: I was thinking it was joining the Peace Corps, but your things are part of that.
MR: I LOVE polka!