THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Now for the Good News
Fortunately, there also seems to exist a rather firm belief
that America will have ever greater need for effective diplomacy
and a talented Foreign Service. And Congress has offered some
relief for the problems of career, safety and family in the Foreign
Service Act of 1980. In such projects as the Family Liaison Office,
with its many branches in embassies, the State Department
continues to seek solutions for the unique problems confronting
its diplomats. And on the sidelines but vociferous, the American
Foreign Service Association and Diplomatic and Consular Offi-
cers, Retired (DACOR), maintain a vigilant and effective stance.
It is also encouraging to note that the numbers of persons
taking the Foreign Service entrance exams are in the thousands
and increasing every year. And statistics seem to indicate that, for
all her independence, the Foreign Service wife, with family, is still
accompanying her husband abroad approximately 90 percent of
the time. Thus, it seems improbable that the Foreign Service is
expiring; more likely, it is, as usual, evolving.
Since our first assignment in Morocco in 1952, changes have
occurred more rapidly than ever in the Foreign Service way of life.
From the beginning, one of the most appealing moments to me
came when all the preparations for departure to a new assign-
ment were complete and the front door closed behind us for the
last time—a moment we were to experience some 14 times in all.
Then sweet relief replaced fatigue. The difficult part was over; the
great adventure lay ahead.
First came the initial stage of the trip, usually to pier side, along
which lay the S.S.
(the swiftest), the
(the most cruise-like) or the
(the most fun).
A Foreign Service friend has long contended that there are only
two ways to travel: “First-class and with children.”The S.S.
came closest to combining the two. Unfortunately, these floating
hotels have sailed away forever, and Foreign Service families must
now fly on U.S. airlines, except in rare circumstances.
Congress has offered some relief for the problems of
career, safety and family in the Foreign Service Act
COURTESY OF KIT NORLAND
Mrs. Norland, husband
Donald, and children
(L to R) David, Kit
and Richard, soon
after arriving in the
Netherlands in 1965.