Nobody really likes to talk about it, it is a strange and complicated web.

My Father joined the Foreign Service and set his sights on becoming the boss. As a kid, you don’t truly understand the intricacies of job titles or how it will impact you, but the first time my Father became Ambassador, I was 10. The first week of school, I had teachers ask me if they could be fast tracked for a visa. I was stunned, at the age of 10 I didn’t know what a visa was, but I quickly learned to field the question with ease, and everything there was to know about visa’s. And no, the Ambassador has nothing to do with visa’s!

Embassy staff who once would have normally come over to vent and bond with my Father, saw him as “the Ambassador” the “boss”, therefore their kids were no longer my friends, there was all of a sudden an invisible line between them and me. It made me feel small and alone. Being an Embassy kid was different, you were part of a community, everyone became a part of your extended family. As the Ambassador’s kid, you were separated from all of that. You were no longer invited to birthday parties, and parents never said anything, and I mean anything round you, for fear of slipping up and telling the Ambassador’s kid something that can be used against them.

So here it is, Embassy life, although tight nit on some levels, also very toxic. Ambassador’s are bosses, their social circles (if you can really call it a circle) has nothing to do with the rest of the embassy. While other embassy staff really bond with locals, the Ambassador does not. The Ambassador is the person everyone wants to get something from, so relationships are out of the question.

Complicated, just a little.



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