November 29, 2014


One of the primary reasons for having Embassies and Consulates around the world is to provide services for American citizens. Usually the American citizens make the journey to the Embassy or Consulate for services. But - in a country with a significant amount of American citizens living in large communities further away, sometimes the government comes to them in the form of an outreach.

I was fortunate to go with a team of colleagues to Baguio for an outreach.

Baguio is a six hour drive from the Embassy, up in the mountains of Luzon Island.

Kennon Road winds it's way up the mountain and it's a rather treacherous stretch.  Rocky mountain walls on one side and a rushing river on the other.  We were very grateful to have a driver who was so experienced.  Especially when our car broke down on the way up to Baguio.

Some people would be upset about having to wait on the side of the road for several hours until a taxi could come down the mountain to get us.

But our great team just took it in stride and used it for photo ops - even though it was raining.

And one enterprising colleague whipped out her craft basket and made us a set of matching bracelets.  We call it the "Kennon Road Collection"!

Finally we got to our destination and had a well deserved relaxing meal together.

The next morning we were up bright and early to begin our day of providing services to American citizens.  We processed passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, provided notary services and information about veterans affairs and social security.

It was a long and productive day.

We ended with some special cocktails and pizza!

The next day we headed back to Manila.  We again had cause to be grateful for our skilled driver.  We headed down the mountain - this time taking the Marcos Highway hoping for better luck.  But - once we got on the expressway, we blew a tire.  Thanks to our great driver, there were no injuries and the tire was quickly fixed.

All in all - quite an adventure!

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