Finding Karen


The Years Before
Port of Spain
Port of Spain II




Welcome to my FINDING KAREN web site!

(I'm very much the novice at creating a website, so please be patient, and yes, I know a couple of the pages load a little slow, but I wanted to include lots of pictures!)

There are so many friends and family that I want to keep in touch with, but like many, I struggle to make the time to sit and write, or when I think about calling, either I'm not near a phone or they aren't at home. This felt like a perfect alternative. I can update people as to where I am, share photos, tell what's going on in my life, and hopefully, they'll manage to drop me at least a couple of sentences now and then to let me know what's going on in their lives!

Please, feel free to browse my site, and if you have any suggestions or comments, I'll take all the help I can get!  (

Favorite Links


U.S. State Department
Post Reports
World Travel Guide
American Red Cross - Greater Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo Gazette



Let's see ... What's the weather like today in the places I've been (or will be)?
Moscow, Russia
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Bucharest, Romania
Majuro, Marshall Islands
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Baghdad, Iraq
Mumbai, India
For those that are browsing the web and just happened onto my site, I'm a small-town farmer's daughter from southwest Michigan that saw a chance of a lifetime and I jumped at it!  Those that know me know that I spent the first 40-ish years of my life in a big town (I'm being VERY sarcastic) in Southwest Michigan.

A wonderful lady by the name of Lois told me of visiting this country and that country and doing this and doing that. One day I finally asked 'Just what kind of work did you DO overseas, Lois?'

'Oh, I was a secretary,' she replied.

After picking my chin up off the floor, 'and they paid for your travel, and your housing, and the costs to move, and ..., and ..., and ...' (several things have changed a little since she retired, but ...)

'Sounds like my kinda job!'

And here I am! In June of 2000, with Lois as my cheerleader/rooting-section, I joined the U.S. Department of State and now work in our embassies overseas!

I started with two months of orientation and training in Washington and was then sent to live in Moscow, Russia for two years. I laughed at the time, 'I thought I was joining the the Foreign Service to get away from the snow and cold in Michigan, and the first place they send me is Moscow?' I survived, and as you'll see later, even managed to see a little more of the world while I was there.

My kids, after serious deliberation, decided to go with me to my first post -- a VERY tough decision at the time for a 7th grader and a sophomore in high school! They have truly become experienced world travelers (and can find their way through most any airport). Attending an 'international' school meant they had classmates from countries all over the world, and believe me when I say we needed to hit the world map, and sometimes even the computer, in order to find a few of them!

They both decided they wanted to return to Michigan after the two years in Moscow -- so they moved in with their dad. I miss them terribly, but I certainly understand ... besides, they still get to come visit me in these exotic places!

Let's get on with the website!

Home | The Years Before | Moscow | Port of Spain | Bucharest | Majuro | Port of Spain II | Baghdad | Mumbai

This site was last updated 12/04/09