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So hard to remember, so easy to forget.

In the military and foreign service agencies, people seldom serve at a post for more than three years. One reason is to prepare everyone to be chief of staff or secretary? of state. Another is to reward those who serve in hardship posts with assignments to Paris or Rome. But the result is to erase institutional memory, as the Paddocks found out when they returned to Guatemala to visit an AID mission where he had once worked. This article appeared in 1973.

Paddock: I understand Barcenas includes the forestry school the U.S. government helped establish ten years ago and later helped merge with the agricultural school there.

Hinton: I don't know anything about that. You must remember that I have only been here 15 months. There is a lot about previous programs I don't know.

Paddock: Is any money going into the experiment station at Barcenas?

Hinton: What experiment station? There is no experiment station there in the sense any of us would think of one. It's a work farm for the Barcenas students. . . .

Paddock: I don't mean the school's farm. I mean the experiment station. When I worked here in the 1950s this and the station at Chocola formed a major U.S. government effort. . . .

Hinton: I know nothing about it. I'm still learning.
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Title Annotation:The Culture of Institutions; foreign service
Author:Paddock, Elizabeth
Publication:Washington Monthly
Date:Feb 1, 1989
Words:216
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