I’m so excited to share our first Notes from Field post for this year – and it’s going to be from…wait for it…Ottawa! Sometimes we assume that every diplomat or diplo-spouse is running around untamed jungles somewhere far far away and it’s easy to forget that one of our largest representations is with our neighbors to the North. And as we ourselves learned when we had Canadian houseguests in Vienna, life can be a bit different when you cross borders. Growing up fairly close to Canada myself, I always took that for granted but Amy, from The Crafty Foreign Service, brings us up to speed on what the diplo-life for an American in Ottawa is really like. Just thinking about Canadian winters right now makes me cold after that Mexico tan, so grab a cozy sweater and a hot tea..and maybe some Oreos… and enjoy!
Current Post: Ottawa, Canada
Three words to describe your current post: Cold, clean, Canadian
Best thing about Ottawa: It is easy to do most things since it is almost (but not quite) like America.
If you’re in Ottawa, you must try: Beavertails downtown, poutine, No Name brand fake Girl Scout cookies which are even better than the real thing!
Biggest adventure at post? I ran over a bear once – the car in front of me actually hit. Also I raised a guide dog for Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind. I have never done anything like that before but it was the best thing I have ever done. I am already planning to do it at our next post!
When did you realize you were far from home? When we bought Oreo’s for the first time and they just tasted very very wrong.
What’s the most important thing about re-creating your home at post? Ottawa is not a furnished post so we had to very quickly come up with a house full of furniture in a country where it is pricey and delivery is slow.
You’re having guests over on Saturday night, what’s on the menu? Endamame to snack on, white wine, homemade pizza, salad and some kind of fruit crisp.
Dream post for next assignment? Why? Somewhere warm because I am freezing after 3 Canadian winters!
One thing you wished someone had told you before arriving? You are on your own!
Parting thoughts? Most of Ottawa is beautiful. I have enjoyed a lot of things about living here but had I known the high school situation, what LQA posts are really like and the fact that the kids doctor is a 70 minute drive across the border, I would have really not wanted to come.
Something Does Occassionally Happen Here…
Do what you can
|Maman aka the Spider outside the National Gallery of Canada.
This is across the street from the Embassy so we see it all the time.
|Dow’s Lake, just on the outskirts of Ottawa|
|4th of July at Canadian Parliament.|
|The Residence all decked out for the 4th. It is a big deal here.|
|Beavertails on the Rideau Canal. Beavertails are fried dough,
which all North Americans know equal a good time!
|Skating on the Rideau Canal right in downtown Ottawa|
|Beaver homes at a local marsh|
|Niagara Falls – about 6 hours away!|
|Saw your own Christmas Tree farm. They do them very well in Canada!|
All Photos by Amy from The Crafy Foreign Service.
Are you currently stationed as a diplomat or diplo-spouse with a Foreign Service – we’d love to hear about your experience! Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org