On Wednesday afternoon the embassy took a little break from our usual tasks to host a Candyland Embassy Tour for our FSO kids and some kids from Mercy Ships. Halloween meets Take Your Child to Work Day. In consular we decided it would be more fun to show what we do than talk about it, so we did what we do best – visa interviews.

Each child got their very own personal visa interview, during which they were asked such daunting questions as “how old are you?” and “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Those determined to be qualified (i.e. all of them) got a single-entry visa to Candyland with their name on it and a pack of Twizzlers. That’s not a bad deal, considering that a normal visa interview costs $160 and does not come with candy.

Our visitors took the interviews very seriously, especially the younger kids, who stood on a chair at the visa window and gravely told the interviewers the names of their schools and their favorite colors as if the fate of the universe was hanging in the balance. Just like real successful visa applicants, they were all relieved and elated to pass the test and get the visa, though I think perhaps the candy was the real draw in this particular case.

Everyone had a good time, including our local staff, who got to step up and do the interviewing for a change. I have it on good authority that ours was the most fun section on the tour, except maybe the Marines, who let the kids play with their target practice simulator. How’s a mere paper pusher supposed to compete with that?