The Foreign Service Journal - June 2014 - page 11

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
JUNE 2014
11
Share your
thoughts about
this month’s issue.
Send your letters to
by Foreign Service authors
(“InTheir Own Write”).
that several of the authors
used a self-publishing
service called CreateSpace.
I researched the option
and then used it to publish
my new book,
Acciden-
tal Patriot: A Diplomat’s
Journey in Africa Rediscovering America
.
Although I had secured a literary agent
(and also the required State Department
clearances), I was unable to interest a
publishing house in the project.
Thank you for leading me to Create-
Space so that I could realize my goal of
becoming an author.
Kirsten Bauman
FSO
Embassy Seoul
Millennial Spouses, Relax!
As a trailing spouse myself, I’d like to
respond to the March article by Jessie
Bryson (
). It seems
to me that many Foreign Service spouses
spend a lot of time trying to justify their
existence. This is unfortunate, consid-
ering all the fascinating opportunities
available to us.
First, we have the luxury of time to
study the local language and to go out
and practice it in our neighborhood.
Not good at learning languages? Neither
am I, but it’s still fun to try, and good
exercise for the brain. Regardless of
proficiency level, one will inevitably pick
up cultural insights through language
study.
Also, we have the opportunity to read
up on the history of the city, country and
region of the world in which we happen
to be living at any given time, explore
those places, and photograph and write
about them.
Rather than fret over
what others think of our
role as trailing spouse,
we can instead thank our
lucky stars for having
landed in a unique and
interesting position that
provides us with end-
less opportunities to
learn new languages and
explore many different places in the
world.
Qani Belul
Embassy Manila
Inherent Conflict
I congratulate AFSA on the March
issue of the
Journal
. I spent a whole eve-
ning reading it, something I don’t recall
ever doing before.
AFSA’s Governing Board and employ-
ees have attenuated as much as possible
the inherent conflict between AFSA’s roles
as both a labor union and a professional
organization. My compliments on that.
I would like to see AFSA set up an
online “Speaking Out” forum where
members and guests can post and
debate their views on foreign policy
issues in real time. I don’t think the
AFSA Facebook site fills that need.
Carl Bastiani
FSO, retired
McCormick, S.C.
n
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