Back at the embassy I went immediately into the communications room with a handful of notes from Linda. I also carried my portable office. I plugged in the thumb drive and ran a scan on it before I opened the file on it. I also sent a notification to Marcy that I would be on VCATS in 5 minutes.
I flipped through all the pictures then sent the file to the girls, Amy and Victor and keyed VCATS to conference call to the girls. It was midnight in Kampala and 5 pm at the office.
Not only were the girls in there, everyone was: Mom, Dad, Lisa, Jason, and all my administrators, even Robert and Burt. How they all fit in the meeting room was a mystery but I was not going to get an answer tonight.
I spent the next fifteen minutes giving a narrative of the ball, and who all the people were there and all the ones I danced with as they looked at the pictures. Then I described all the dances that Gordon and I did.
Then Marcy said, “We have seen you on ZNN news all day here. Seven thousand miles away and you still make prime news. A humanitarian flight and equipment donation for the doctors; you did a good thing and you made us proud.”
“ZNN has been showing the clip of the chopper with our logo landing, the equipment being unloaded and the interviews on national news. Hanna’s station has been running the clips as a local interest story,” Lorrie added.
With the crowd in the office I sent Marcy a text that I needed a private conference with them and would call back in half an hour. I used the excuse that it was midnight to sign off.
I worked on email while I waited; there was plenty of it to look at. The first ones were from Robert and Burt. With my code book I ran the documents through the encryption filters and then printed out the messages.
They were updates on the terrorist plans; so far there were no major changes other than they were increasing the estimates of the number who would be participating in the attack.
I wondered how they were recruiting additional fighters without slipping up and alerting various anti-terror agencies.
I paged the office again and was surprised to see Victor sitting at the table with my girls.
“I have been looking at the pictures from the Ambassador’s Ball and news reports of your day; you have been really busy,” Eric said. “Oh, by the way, your girls said they dressed you to turn heads. I think it worked; look at the pictures closely some time, there were a lot of by standers looking at you when the pictures were taken.”
“The secretary called to ask me to give you a ‘good job pat on the back’ for the humanitarian effort.”
“There is plenty to do; more than I thought there would be; my schedule is full,” I replied.
Just to catch Victor off guard, “I understand that you want Blackhawks at the 40 new embassies.”
“Yes, that is what we are looking to do. How did you know that?” Victor replied.
“You know a lady never kisses and tells,” I said. “I already have the aircraft under contract for all 40 sites.”
“You do seem to have your sources; it’s good to know that you have that part of the contract covered already. I need to run Allie and I am taking Alica and her friends out to dinner and bowling,” Victor replied as he stood and left.
When the door closed Marcy asked, “What aircraft under contract are you talking about?”
“I agreed to buy 25 Blackhawks from Germany and 20 from Israel. They are located at the Arizona storage site; we will have to pay freight. You need to get with the mechanics to make sure we have something that will unload them off flatbed trailers without damaging them when they start arriving. That should start happening in two to three weeks.”
“You have begun the financing process with Midwest Bank?” I asked.
“Yes, as soon as we signed the contract,” Marcy replied.
“Sounds like Victor and Joni are getting serious,” I said
“He and Allie are here every night,” Vicky replied.
“Speaking of humanitarian assistance, Lorrie, will you contact that pharmaceutical company we are flying everywhere all the time? See if they are open to donating medicines and drugs on a list I have. If nothing else, to sweeten the pot offer to buy an equal amount at the wholesale price, just see what they are open to,” I said and then I read the list to her.
“Potomac Pharmaceuticals, sure,” Lorrie replied.
“I need to page Frank and now it is 1 AM. Hugs and kisses, give the boys a kiss for me, love you, good night.”
I sent the picture file to Frank and then called him.
It only rang twice before he answered, “What is it midnight, one or two there and you are still up?”
“It’s one, did you get the file I sent.”
“Yes, I knew we are friends but I didn’t think I rated enough to be sent party pictures. Did you know that you dress up very nice?” he asked.
“So they tell me, thanks for the second opinion to verify that they were not pulling my leg. I sent you the pictures because I wanted to know if you would send me the folders on the other guests and the other Ambassadors who are in Kampala. It seems their governments or our State department sent them one on me. I was caught flat footed: and I do not want that to happen again,” I replied.
“I really don’t want my guys spending time on things I know you have or increasing the risk being discovered,” I said.
“By the way, thanks for the help with the Blackhawks, I have a verbal agreement to buy both groups,” I said.
“Go get some sleep, you will have the folders tomorrow, and you are welcome. Good night.” Frank said as he hung up.
Ten minutes later I was in bed; Linda was in the middle of the bed and sounds asleep. I slid close to her and drifted quickly into sleep.
I woke up Saturday morning later than normal; it was 6 AM. Linda was facing me, eyes open and smiling; I had one arm under her neck and the other over her side and had her pulled tight to me and she had one arm over me. “You were sleeping so peacefully I didn’t want to move and wake you up,” she said.
“Thank you for that, I was exhausted; I hope you did not mind the body contact,” I said.
“Not at all, it was cool last night and you are all warm and cuddly,” Linda replied.
After breakfast Andy and I reviewed last nights intel dumps from Robert and Burt. Then Andy and his 4 team leaders and I reviewed everything that his men had been working on outside all week.
Andy wanted to empty out the crates of frozen foods into the walk- in freezer, if the freezer would hold it. That would free up room to allow the Suburbans to be put back into the garage and allow Andy to sort out all the rest of the hardware from the DOD that was still crated.
“I’m OK with that but consolidate the dry ice into the insulated crates; we may need that ice in a few days.”
I was happy with everything that had been done and ahead of schedule and I told everyone so when we went back inside. I essentially gave them the weekend off, provided they came to some kind of agreement to maintain security and embassy functions.
If they went into the city they were to go in groups – not by themselves – and to be on guard against being separated and watched.
I also said that if anyone else was interested I would like to have a beach volleyball game after lunch for the exercise.
I had one more thing I wanted to do before lunch and that was to send a couple emails.
The first one was to Vicky; she was still overseeing the refreshment center in the gym.
“Can you find out how much canned Kamgells vegetable and beef soup in all can sizes is available and do the same for their chicken noodle in all can sizes from the supplier. Also check on the availability of 25000 paper or Styrofoam disposable bowls and plastic spoons. And of course I need prices for Marcy.”
The next e-mail was to Roger Gifford. Mr. Gifford was one of the newly appointed board of directors for KCC. His day job was president of New England Pharmaceuticals.
I had been to several meetings with him in attendance at KCC, all of them money related. One of them was the budget and the other was the final cost review for the second dorm that came in a half of a million dollars under budget under the experienced watch of Mr. Bozman.
I explained the temporary assignment in Uganda and the plight of the Doctors without Borders refugee camp at Nimule. I asked the same questions that I had Lorrie ask the other group.
“Could your company donate medicines and or medical supplies or possibly sell on a cost basis to make scarce donated dollars go further. I also have a secret donor who was going to match the donations.”
I included the list of medicines that Dr Palermo said they in desperate need of.
I electronically signed the email as Ambassador Roberta BJ Jones, US Embassy, Kampala, Uganda and then my satellite phone number.
I changed into my gym shorts and went to play volleyball in the sand. Enough of the other ladies agreed to play so we had 2 four person teams.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.
“Also check on the availability of 25000 paper or Styrofoam disposable bowels”
You might want to check on the plural of bowl.
And before you get your ire up, I am not a grammar or spelling Nazi, but this one was a coffee out the nose moment, that I wanted to share. No disrespect intended. I know I have a demented sense of humor, but you can blame it on my grandfather who somehow passed it on to me.
Another fine “episode” you have gotten us into Stan…errrrrrrr Jack
I hope you are staying dry.
Rain quit around 11:30 we had 2.5 inches wind picked up after the rain stopped. They are predicting 20 gust to 25. Looks like another one missed us. Was bad for those south of us. Thanks for the correction. Jack