TONIGHT… With tensions between the United States and North Korea high, what’s it like to work overseas? Jon Passantino sits down with an overseas foreign service officer.
Outside the gates of the US Embassy in Berlin there’s a thick, tangled metal fence and a few dogs.
Down the road, there’s a shipping container.
Since 1999, this cargo area has been the home for 18 American Ambassadors and other US government employees.
Mikael Roy, Ambassador of the United States to Canada, is on duty tonight.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about the threshold itself, the hard choice that others must make when they cross it,” said Roy.
Most service members take a 24 month commitment.
For most of us, abroad means war.
But for the Foreign Service, it’s work overseas.
It’s work that’s risky.
“I’ve learned that getting ready to go back actually gets less relaxing, both professionally and personally.”
For Elizabeth Carstensen, living in Berlin is the best of times…the worst of times.
“My husband will tell you that this job kind of disappears from you very quickly.”
Tracking our day to day… where we are, who we are with and why.
…But we’re not always here.
And we’re not always here without money.
“If you’re relying on food stamps, or if you’re requiring food from people that just don’t have it, you’re really not helping them, you’re probably just hurting yourself.”
Katrina Elliott, an ambassador, is going to sleep in this shipping container.
“A simple gesture because it’s cold and because it’s hard for you to find a room and we’re starting to do it again.”
For the first time this year, US ambassadors are rolling out the red carpet for their government colleagues.
“We have the same problems, we have the same issues and we have the same heartbreak.”
These ambassadors know it might not last long.
“I come back one day and it’s just like you see me and you see that you’ve left.”