Nearly there

With three weeks until lift off, it seemed like a good time to update this blog. Things are starting to speed up, but I’m enjoying a weekend that is somewhat calmer in which I can study Bangla. I’ve got a nice little countdown that I look at from time to time to make me realize how little time I have left…

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In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been assigned housing (which looks marvelous!), scheduled pack-out, finalized plane tickets, received Diplokitty import permits, and have started to schedule meetings with folks to discuss Bangladesh. At the moment, I feel on top of things, but I’m waiting for something to go wrong at the last minute. I’m training my cat to be comfortable in his container and harness. Tomorrow I’m going to try drugging him to see how that works.

My parents and brother came to visit a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed getting to do some of the touristy things I’d missed. Mt. Vernon was fun, and we also rode bikes on the Mt. Vernon trail. Last weekend I was able to take a tour of the White House, which I’d always wanted to do. I also went to the Renwick Gallery, which was stunning.

I realized that my going away party will be a year to the day of my invitation to A-100. I remember feeling so confused and unsure at that time. I was on the register for a total of 3 days before getting my invite, so things moved faster than I’d expected them to. I also remember the pure excitement I felt for weeks afterwards. I am so so so glad I made the decision to accept.

I do have mixed feelings about leaving D.C. I’ve really enjoyed my time at FSI and playing around in the area. I’ve done so many fun things over the past year – biking, hiking, movie watching, meeting new people, eating amazing food, or just looking at the window with my diplocat by my side. There is a little bit of fear of the unknown, fear I won’t be great at my new job, fear that things won’t be the way I hope them to be. But mixed with that is the excitement to travel to a new country – the sights, smells, sounds (and there will be many of all of those) make me itch to finish packing and race towards the airport. I can’t wait to explore the region – Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka to name a few. I can’t wait to meet all the people at the Embassy and start decorating my new place. I am happy to get started with something concrete – workwise. I’m excited to meet Bangladeshis and try out my newly acquired language skills. This is what I’ve been training for for nearly 11 months now, and while I may leave Washington D.C. with some wistful sorrow, I am looking towards the future with hope.

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