Had lunch with old friends from Brazil – Tom Lloyd and Susan Bell. I worked with Susan just a few years ago. Tom I have not seen for more than thirty years.
We worked together in Porto Alegre, first post for both of us. He was (still is) married to a Brazilian woman and he speaks Portuguese at 5/5 level. This is nearly impossible for someone who did not learn the language as a child.
Funny thing, we wanted to ask about each other’s spouses and families to catch up, but we talked around it for a little while. Both of us are still married to the same spouse as before, but a lot of people are not. It would be a little awkward to ask about a former spouse.
Foreign Service is not kind to marriages but both of us were lucky to have good wives who tolerated our odd lifestyles. I know lots of colleagues who have had many wives. One had six, much like Henry VIII but w/o so much drama. He kind of collected them in each of his postings. I suppose he thought it would help him learn the language and customs. There are easier ways to practice a language.
My pictures show Tom & me participating in the beer ceremony and then Tom and Susan.