I’m about to begin my third week of A-100 (aka Hogwarts for Diplomats), but it feels like it’s been a lifetime since my previous job. My fellow classmates are fantastic people. We have been able to meet up after all the sessions at Happy Hours and BBQs, and I have really enjoyed getting to know them better. There are 49 of us and we come from all kinds of different backgrounds, which makes it even more interesting.
The sessions themselves have also been fascinating. We are visited by many high level speakers (Ambassadors, Assistant Secretaries, etc) who impart their wisdom on us, and we learn all about the structure and history of the Foreign Service. I am definitely struggling to keep up at times, especially with the copious use of acronyms and State jargon. Slowly, slowly.
This week we turn in our bid-lists, where we differentiate each of the cities given to us during our first week of orientation into “high,” “medium”, or “low” posts. I’ve got a few places that I am just dying to get to, and a few places that I am thinking “oh please no no no.” But in the end, it is definitely “needs of the service” and we all signed a sheet of paper that says we have worldwide availability and go where we are needed. I’m just hoping that I am needed in the places I want to go!
I am sure I can make anywhere home for two years. I’ve lived in a tent in the rain forest, in a mud hut near the Sahara desert, in a 10X10 ft cabin in Alaska, in a mobile home on an island in Puget Sound, and now in a swanky apartment in D.C. I’m confident I can adapt to any living condition. We’ll see how I feel on June 5th, though…
Outsideof orientation, I am enjoying catching up with old friends. I love that there is so much to do in this city. Outdoor movie screenings, kayaking, biking, monuments, museums, and more! Great restaurants, decent public transport (still waiting for that Capital City bikeshare key fob…), and everything I need within reach. I’m happier than I have ever been perhaps, and excited to see what the future holds!