Andy and I, along with the team leaders, made several tours of the embassy grounds to point out different things that needed to be done to improve our security or make our stay better.
Then there was another meeting to get the suit and tie embassy part of this venture started tomorrow. There was an official announcement and letter of introduction that I had to personally hand deliver to each of the ambassadors at the other embassies.
The state department had furnished a list and an order that I was do this in; a pecking order based on the strength of the international relationship.
Linda was going be my official secretary while I was here. Gordon Decker was to be my escort to all official functions. Gordon, Andy informed me, had brought several suits and tuxes and had taken dance as a college course.
Gordon was a likable fellow and seemed to get along with anybody and was in great physical shape. He also spoke three languages of the 7 that I also spoke. Like most of my men, Gordon had done time in the sand box; we had a lot in common.
Protocol required that I have four body guards with me for the time being; two were coming the evening shift and two the night shift.
The next thing was getting us orientated to the time difference. To start that process, it was to bed by the clock.
The ambassador’s residence was 3 bedrooms with twin queen beds. I and my three girls were going to take one bedroom.
I gave them the choice, “Share a bed or put up a cot to sleep on, I do not care which, but we are all sleeping in one room and I have the half of the bed next to the phone. Oh, by the way, I do not bite”
The other seven girls were told the same thing for the other two bedrooms. I did not want nor would I put up with any shenanigans between the sexes; we simply had too much to do for that.
The alarm clock had to ring to get me out of bed; I had set it for 6. A quick shower and better clothes today – I chose a new 300 dollar pant suit – the high price stuff was for official functions. A little makeup and my hair in a pony tail was it today.
I smelled coffee and food as soon as I opened the door. I hit the coffee pot first then the food line; bacon, eggs, sausage and a waffle. The waffle mix must have been from Ambassador Bernardi’s stock unless the guys had added it to the list. That might explain the several extra crates that were loaded.
“After you finish eating and before you start the day, I need to see you in my office for a minute,” I told Andy as I walked by with a fresh mug of coffee.
I open my cases and started to put the office together to suit me. The desk had been cleaned out other than pads and pens. I wiped off my official desk nameplate and placed it on the desk, then put the rest of my things away. I keyed up both of my computers to see if they would connect to the secure system.
There was no need to try to find anyone at the office; it was midnight there, the same for Washington unless I paged the emergency operations desk.
I could and did open a conversation with the Khartoum Sudan embassy that was 1200 miles to the north in the same time zone. There was a JBG team and a chopper at that site. Ambassador Bernie Furnell opened the page himself.
“Good morning Ambassador Furnell, how are things in the Sudan today?” I asked.
“Normal turbulence all around the area – it is an every day occurrence any more. I have to get used to addressing you as ambassador. While I’m thinking of it, are we all going to get that secret surgery that you described to Joe?”
“I don’t think so,” I replied as I was laughing.
“I take it that you and Ambassador Bernardi are close friends,” I said.
“Yes we are; I was concerned that they pulled him out so suddenly,” he said.
“No worries, he will be back in six weeks, better than ever,” I replied with a laugh.
Andy was at my door, “I need to run – someone at my door who I have to work with – we shall talk soon,” I said as I closed the window.
“Andy, I don’t know how many places will take our credit cards,” I said as I opened my desk. I handed him 10 thousand of the prince’s money.
“Try to use the card first; and you know Marcy,” I replied.
“Oh yes, receipts!” Andy replied with a laugh.
A few minutes later I saw the truck and one of the Suburbans leave the grounds. I wonder where they were going first. I could have activated the location program with the JBG ID card if they were carrying it. I really didn’t have time for that.
I went back to reading all the emails, replies and bulletins in my inbox. That job carried me all the way to lunch. All morning the limos and SUVs were going in and out; the truck made several trips. After lunch and the VCATS to Victor and the office, I would take a walk to see what was happening.
At lunch I found out that the cooks found a large food store with fresh vegetables and other American type foods. Lunch was a salad for me.
I talked for almost an hour with the girls and my staff at the office. Robert stepped in to ask if I remembered to bring my code book for his encryption system.
“Yes, I have it,” I replied.
“Good, you have some things coming from me,” he replied.
I got to see the boys and it hurt not being able to hold them.
I had just finished the conversation and was getting ready to look at the files that Robert sent when Linda called to say I had an official visitor.
“Damn, I had hoped that I would have a couple days at least to get settled in before this started!” I thought.
I met Canadian Ambassador Peter Morrison Jr in the lobby. We exchanged credentials as customary with the first meet. Then I invited him to my office.
We talked for an hour; I answered his general questions and he mine. Peter was disappointed that I had not been to Canada but pleased that JGB had planes at the Toronto Lockheed plant and the VP’s were going there to pick them up. “If it had not been for this gig I would have been to Toronto with them in two weeks’ I told him. Toronto was his home town.
Before he left I was invited to the Canadian embassy Friday night to an ambassador’s ball. Ambassador Morrison assured me that only allies in good standing would be there so there would be little chance that I could start an international incident. The ball was on Ambassador Bernardi’s calendar and he had recommended that I go in his place.
The finger food and social hour started at six, the real meal at seven and then entertainment at 8. I promised that I would be there and asked if an escort was acceptable.
I went back to my desk and spent the next two hours working with Robert’s magic encryption keys. It was today’s latest intercepts and Robert was wise; he trusted no one and was covering my back as best he could from 7,000 miles away.
When I finished I could smell supper cooking. I would have sworn Jenny made the menu; it was steak. We were going to need an exercise yard for sure, before the food we brought was gone.
After supper I walked the building and the grounds and listened while Andy and his leaders filled me in on today’s exploits and the things they had found in and around the city. Then Bambi took me for a chopper ride over and around the city.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.