US Embassy Laos: Ambassador Stewart Gets a Lesson in Breakdancing

Via the US Embassy Vientiane:

“The 2012 Fang Meh Khong dance festival will take place October 23-24 in Vientiane, featuring hip-hop, modern, and traditional dancers from Laos, Singapore, and France. The U.S. Embassy is one of the sponsors of this event, so Mr. Ole, the director, decided to stop by the Embassy to teach some dance moves to Ambassador Stewart. She raps, she breakdances, it’s official: Than Thoot Karen is the coolest Ambassador ever!”

Why breakdancing?  Ambassador Stewart explains in her blog:

Since coming to Laos, I have definitely tried a lot of things I never thought I never thought I would try. From eating bugs, to detonating a huge pile of unexploded ordnance, to rapping in Lao to a crowd of teenagers, I’ve had some amazing experiences.

Last week I got to cross another experience off my list: Break-dancing! To show my support for the upcoming Fang Mae Khong dance festival (which the U.S. Embassy is helping to sponsor), I got a lesson in B-Boy dancing from Ole, the young director of the dance festival.

Ole and his team showed me a few simple moves (well, simple for them, anyway). At the end, we performed a little dance routine together. You can watch the results here.

Well, of course I am no real dancer, but it was a lot of fun! It’s always good to get out there and try to do something when part of you thinks you can’t do it.

Read her full post here.  She also blogged about detonating the “bombies” here.

 

 

 

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US Embassy Ankara Restricts USG Travel to 16 Turkish Provinces

On October 23, the US Embassy in Ankara informed US citizens in Turkey that it expanded the number of provinces in the country that requires special permission for official and unofficial travel by US government employees. Excerpt below from its Emergency Message:

The Embassy advises U.S. citizens that we have recently added the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, and Șanlıurfa to the list of provinces in southeast Turkey for which special permission is required for any necessary official or unofficial travel by U.S. government employees. The other restricted provinces are Şırnak, Diyarbakır, Van, Siirt, Muș, Mardin, Batman, Bingöl, Tunceli, Hakkâri, Bitlis and Elaziğ. U.S government employees are required to take special precautions when traveling in these provinces, to include consulting with local security officials on current threats. If road travel is necessary, drive only during daylight hours and on major highways. The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that the situation in southeast Turkey, while usually calm, can change without warning. Over the past several months, provinces in southeast Turkey have experienced a substantial increase in terrorist attacks and kidnappings. Turkish towns located directly along the border with Syria have also been struck by bullets and artillery rounds originating in Syria, with some resulting in deaths or injuries.

In addition to the well-known, longstanding threat from terrorists associated with Kongra-Gel (KGK, also known as PKK), other violent extremists have transited Turkey en route to Syria. Therefore, we recommend that U.S. citizens take care in meetings with individuals claiming to represent the Syrian opposition movement.

 

I should note that we have a small consulate in Adana, as well as Incirlik Air Base a few kilometers from the city.