Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Welcoming the 173rd Airborne

The past couple of weeks have been fairly hellish.

We have had two CODELS, McCain and Bachmann. Plus, we have had two major conferences, the Lennart Meri Conference and the Freedom Online Coalition ministerial. Each conference brought high level visitors, including our Ambassadors to NATO and the OSCE and our A/S for Democracy, Rights and Labor. Plus, the Under Secretary for Management was here at the same time.

None, not one, of our visitors was the nightmare that visitors can sometimes be, but we are a small embassy and these visits involved lots of moving parts, lots of juggling. It has been exhausting.

Of course, a big part of the reason for all this is that with the crisis in Ukraine, suddenly everyone is interested in Estonia. Even my family members who thought when I got assigned here that Estonia was in Africa now know exactly where Estonia is.

So in addition to all the visitors, we also had lots of military stuff going on. Like the rotation of the Baltic Air Policing from us to the Danes, marking the first time that the Estonian air base will be used for that mission. Previously, all the flights have been done out of Lithuania.

And then there was this:

The 173rd Airborne sent a company to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. They arrived here on Monday. With the way Russia has been behaving, everyone is happy to see them!

I actually got the be there for this one. I am exhausted, but that was a "man, I love my job" kind of day!

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