Thursday, June 23, 2016

From Journal Entries for July 10 & 11, 1999: Getting settled

July 1O: The transition to Brazil has almost been too easy. The house is great, the weather fine, [wife and son] are here, and I am in charge. Still I wonder what I'm doing here. Why come to a foreign land, why represent the United States, why think my way into other folk's reality, why try to explain it to the folks back home? ...

July 11: It is a little after noon and ... I just came in from a dip in the pool and we are all resting after a morning of tennis at the Ambassador’s residence. Shortly, we will be picked up by my driver and go to a “churrascaria tipo rodizio” for lunch. That’s where they bring around an endless round of barbecued meats and other stuff and you eat until you are “satisfeito.”.... 

I continued to get my hands around the Mission, engaging on several fronts and making – I hope – some headway on resolving our problems with the government over counter-narcotics cooperation. Everyone encouraged me to cut back on meetings, which I could easily do since there were too many. For a while at least, I seem to be popular. Gave my first reception on Tuesday and it went well. With staff and my protocol chief to do all the work, it was pretty easy to put together. We have some high level visitors coming over the next several weeks and we’ll have some more entertaining to do.

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