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MAY 2015



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.

United States

(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

of 1980.


Mrs. Norland, husband

Donald, and children

(L to R) David, Kit

and Richard, soon

after arriving in the

Netherlands in 1965.