The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2003

Other cats appeared running, walking, waddling, howl- ing, alternating between placid happiness and manic agitation. “My God,” Mrs. Williamson said. “My cats, they’re out! They ... ” Cassidy came running from the house. “Mom, Mom, Mom!” he said. “Not now, Cassidy,” Mrs. Ambassador said. “But Mom, Dad’s on the phone from the U.S.,” Cassidy said. Cassidy suddenly had Mrs. Ambassador’s attention. “And Fawn’s talking to him!” Cassidy said. “She says to tell you to let her friends go right now or she’ll tell him all about Mrs. Williamson and the cats. She says if I’m not back in 60 seconds she’s gonna tell him any- way!” At this moment, many emotions ranged over Mrs. Ambassador’s face. I even thought I saw, for a brief moment, as she sighed and turned toward the house to take Mr. Ambassador’s call, a comprehension of the importance of Right Speech. I am happy to report that a suitable shaman was found to cast out the spirit of the dead man from the truck (later invoiced to the embassy as “consul- tant fees”). The cats, mostly in a drowsy, drugged stupor in the upper limbs of various trees on the res- idence grounds, were recovered and recaged. Mrs. Ambassador and Mrs. Williamson followed the truck to the eco-tourism site a few days later. Unfortunately, news of the arrival of the cats had spread, and too many people showed up for their dis- tribution. Discord followed. Residents of the south side of the village accused residents of the north side of taking all the cats for themselves. In the resulting riot, the entire village, including the eco-tourism site, was consumed in a bamboo conflagration, which also elim- inated most of the rats. However, the eco-tourism site was insured separate- ly for 800 percent of its actual value by both the World Bank and the Regional International Bank develop- ment authorities, so the village is being rebuilt. In con- crete. ■ F O C U S J U LY- A U G U S T 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 47 2000 N. 14th Street ■ Suite 500 Arlington, VA 22201 Telephone (703) 797-3259 Fax (703) 524-7559 Tollfree (800) 424-9500