After a frantic rearranging of my test date due to the day of morning for President George Bush, I managed to eke out a 3/3 on my final French exam. Apparently this means I have “Professional Working Proficiency.” For the Foreign Service Institute’s testing purposes, it meant I can give a presentation on a variety of topics, ranging from the pros and cons of immigration, the effects of climate change on the global economy, and more. I can also hold conversations and get my point across. It remains to be seen how this translates (pun intended) into real world Embassy work. I’m looking forward to getting out into the real world and flexing my French skills.
The past 7 months have been a lot of work, and I’m happy it paid off. Sitting around talking about things in another language for 5-6 hours a day sounds like fun at first…but after the 3rd month, it gets old quick! Mostly I’m happy because it means I can leave for post on time. And by on time, I mean next week! I’m so excited to join the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. I’ve known I’m going to Senegal for about 2 years now, and it’s always seemed like a distant dream. Now departure is upon me, and I’ll be spending the day today sorting through all my stuff.
Moving to another country is never easy, and there are so many moving parts that you fear you maybe forgot something essential. I’m also attempting to transport two kitties who hate to travel across an ocean, so that adds an additional spice to the mix.
Senegal is also a consumables post (unlike Bangladesh), and my Thursday night was spent filling up carts with Costco goods – shampoo, cleaning supplies, etc. I know that Senegal will have a lot of what I need, but it’s nice to save some money by buying in bulk and knowing I have the things and brands I like. But now I have to prioritize what is going in the suitcases versus what is going via air shipment versus what is going via a ship. Once I arrive in Senegal, I’ll have 4 shipments coming to me! 2 “ship” shipments (one from Bangladesh!), plus consumables and UAB. It’s a lot to juggle – and how did I acquire this much stuff??
I’ll keep you updated, and hopefully the next update will be from my new digs!! The diplokitties are about to get an upgrade.