One cool thin about working in the Community Liaison Office (CLO) is they will actually send us to training. By “they” I mean our mothership the Family Liaison Office (FLO) in Washington. Do you know how cool it is to be an EFM and get paid to go to training? I don’t think any other job really does this.
These trainings involve approximately 25 CLOs from around the world getting together in a cool city to talk about everything the job entails. I was lucky in that our regional training was in Abu Dhabi this year and I didn’t have to deal with crazy jet-lag and weird flight connections. Just a quick hop to Dubai and a car ride to UAE’s capital city.
We had CLOs from all over the world of all different post sizes. Some I couldn’t imagine. One post had 600 direct hires with 40 different agencies. One was going through evacuation. Two were unaccompanied. Many were Consulates and only had a fraction of what we have at a full Embassy. Many were on restrictions in their host city or host country. It made me realize that as annoying Dushanbe is that’s all it is. Annoying. Not dangerous. Not overwhelming. Just annoying.
It wasn’t all work. We did get some free time to explore Abu Dhabi. We went to the mall to eat at Shake Shack. We went to the Souk (market) to shop for souvenirs. We went to the Emirates Palace Hotel for cappuccinos with 24 karat gold flecks on top. We also went to the Grand Mosque for a tour which was one of the most amazing sights I’ve ever seen.
The best part of this training was talking with the other CLOs about some issues we face in Dushanbe. It was comforting to hear that some things were universal. Big or small, we all deal with some of the same problems. It was also helpful to hear others discuss solutions to some of the problems we all face. About halfway through the week I was so excited to get back to post and implement what I’ve learned. I think it’s a testament to how good this week was for me in that it made me excited about work again.
This post has actually taken me a few weeks to write because of this. As soon as I returned I had a to-do list a mile long and a bunch of other ideas in my head I wanted to implement immediately. Apologies to my Co-CLO and brand new local Admin Assistant for my crazed enthusiasm last week.