Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fall or Winter?

So far, the weather here in Lisbon hasn't been too bad. We were a little worried seeing as we caught the tail end (last February and March) of the worst winter that Lisbon has had in a long time.

There has been a good amount of rain lately, but we've also had plenty of sunny days. I can definitely handle a winter where you don't need to have your fingers, neck and ears covered all the time. Here is a chart which shows the average temps and rainfall for Lisbon.

In the spirit of our fall-like weather here, enjoy some pictures we took recently in a park. I will warn you that these are pretty cheesy pictures. However, we did NOT both wear stripes on purpose!

I told John to try kicking the leaves as I took a picture. It was hilarious, because he completely fell backwards onto the ground after he kicked them. I couldn't stop laughing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Obama Comes to Town

You may have seen on TV recently that President Obama came to Portugal to meet with the leaders of countries that are members of NATO and with the heads of the European Union. That meant lots of work for us. I got the glorious job of staffing the operations room that we set up in the hotel where Obama and all the White House staff stayed, as well as Hillary Clinton. During the four days leading up to his arrival and the two days he was here, I worked 78 hours.

John had an important job, too. He was in charge of making sure that the meeting between President Obama and the Portuguese Prime Minister went off without a hitch. Because John's also responsible for knowing about and promoting energy at the embassy, he arranged for GM to send two of its prototype electric cars to Lisbon so that the Portuguese delegation and the President of the European Commission could use them to drive to the NATO Summit. Obama had to use his own car for security reasons, but he did stop by to take a look at one of the cars.

But what made all the hard work worthwhile was getting to meet Obama. He came and spoke to all the embassy employees who weren't busy at other locations (like John). He told us that "your President is proud of you," which was pretty cool. And then I got to shake his hand!

See how close we were?

After he left, my friend Rebecca and I were able to sneak up to the podium and take a quick picture.