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Diplomatic Wanderings

Full Title

Diplomatic Wanderings: From Saigon to the South Seas


What is it really like to be a diplomat? Bill Cordiner's 28 years in the Service explodes many myths and shows a rich, varied, even dangerous but never dull experience shot through with the unexpected and even hilarious. These are travelers' tales as much as diplomatic memoirs and begin in Saigon during the Vietnam War, with an encounter with the Viet Cong. Later postings included Ethiopia shortly after the fall of Haile Selassie, where he was buried under tons of coffee and was host to Princess Anne at a bush campsite, in oil-rich Kuwait in sharp contrast to his next posting in Iraq. From Antigua at independence he was thrown into US business life with Boeing and then to near-feudal Tonga.


Bill Cordiner joined the Diplomatic Service in 1967 after working for 6 years in Kenya. He served in Vietnam, Iraq, the US, among others, eventually retiring from Tonga as High Commissioner in 1994.

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