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Answers and More Questions

One of the nice things about Flag Day – aside from the obvious excitement – was the satisfaction of having my questions answered. I now know where I’m going and approximately when (late May/early June) and what I’ll be doing with myself in the meantime (training of various sorts). It’s nice to have all that uncertainty settled.

But then, mere hours after finding out the answers I had waited so long for, the party atmosphere wore off and an entirely new set of questions presented themselves. Important questions. What kind of car should I buy? What will my housing be like? How’s the power? How’s the internet access? What do people wear to work? What kind of U.S. comforts should I bring with me? How will I get my mail? What shots will I need to get? What should I do about a cell phone? What do I need to do to bring the cat? Etc., etc., etc.

Fortunately, the answers to these questions only have to wait until I make the effort to track them down. I’m enjoying my long weekend, so post research starts Tuesday afternoon. And then I have seven months to hammer out the details.

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And the Winner Is…

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So, Where Are You Going?

Over the last couple of months, everyone I’ve told I was joining the Foreign Service has responded either with “…the what?” or the question above. The answer to that question has been, and remains, “I dunno.” But today was a very exciting day because we received our bid list, the list of jobs available for the 156th A-100 class to fill. This narrows it down a bit.

The list is not what I had imagined it to be. While I was waiting to get here I had months and months to mull over all the places in the world, and which ones I would really like to go to and which ones I’m not so keen on. Well, most of my most-wanted cities turn out not to be on the list; on the other hand, most of my least-wanted aren’t on there either. I have to rank every position as high, medium, or low. This is going to take some time and some research. I suspect a fairly complex spreadsheet will be in order.

But at the same time as I decide to prefer this place over that one and these over those, I have to keep in mind that I may end up at any of them anyway. When the list came out one of my classmates said it felt like Christmas, and another replied that we are at the stage where you shake your present to guess what’s inside. This is a perfect metaphor. I wish I had thought of it myself.

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The Before-Times

Blog archives can be found here until I sort out how to move them to the new site. If any webgeeks out there want to help I’d be super appreciative.

Those of you who are interested in how I got to be a Foreign Service Officer might want to click here, where I have compiled all my FS-tagged posts. There’s not much flow, but I hope you find it useful.