Saturday, September 10, 2016

From Journal Entry for August 8, 1999: Typical "work" for a Chief of Mission

This morning, we all went to the Flag Changing ceremony at the Praca dos Tres Poderes (Square of the Three Powers). Every month there is an official ceremony in which the national flag – the biggest in Brazil – is lowered and a new one takes its place. The flagpole is a soaring sculpture in itself at one end of Brasilia’s version of the monumental mall. The space is flanked by the Congress, the Supreme Court and Planalto (the President’s offices) -- thus Tres Poderes. I was invited to attend with my family*. We all got dressed and were picked up by the Lincoln at 8:30. We had a bit of shade in the VIP area and were surrounded by more four-star officers than we ever saw. The Church was present too (some cardinal). We were treated to a marching band from the Military High School of Brasilia, which had a live sheep for its mascot.
Yesterday we had a newly arrived family over for lunch....  asked the staff to do a Brazilian barbecue. The food went great with the caipirinhas, the company, the sun and the pool. [My wife] – a bit reluctant at first to have our domestics asked to work on Saturday (it is part of their work schedule but we don’t usually utilize it) – enjoyed lunch enough to suggest we do it every weekend. On Friday night, we went to the Bolivian National Day reception while Andy went on a sleep over. This evening, Andy and I will have a guest box at the local soccer stadium to see Gama play Guarani. The workweek is pretty full and we are entering a busy period with lots of visitors coming down. But I like what I’m doing and we all are having a good time.

*Note:  My family joined me in Brasilia for a few weeks during the summer break.