First off – my apologies (yet again) – it’s been a few days since my last update and no, I still haven’t gotten around to uploading pictures…. yes, it’s been one of those weeks and I mean that in a good way. A very good, exciting, and very overwhelming first week in our new roles: John as FSO (Foreign Service Officer), Nicole as SAHM (stay-at-home-mom), and Luca as Captain Smiley. This week essentially flew by since there were so many activities to meet new friends (and to our surprise, a few who enjoy board- and card-games as much as we do!), orient spouses to the FS life (aka, my new support group!), and transition kids to life in DC (yes, it’s still hot and there was one rather urgent trip to Luca’s new pediatrician….no worries, he’s fine [and so am I]!) Oh, and of course, the other major piece of news was that we received (drum roll, please) the bid list…. what’s a bid list, you might ask – very good question. State provides a “bid list” listing all the available posts and estimated start dates to each training class during the first week. FSOs get about 1 week to research all of the posts (there are about 100 spread out pretty much all over the world) and rank posts in terms of preference. So, this means researching and learning as much as you can for about 80+ cities – an important and current interest of mine… is it overwhelming you might wonder….. yes… is it exciting? …. You bet! (seriously, when else do you get to ponder whether you would rather live in a place that is dark and gloomy for 6 months of the year or one that has large insects hanging out in your bedroom?) Can you research everything you need to learn to make an informed decision? Umm, no (if you disagree, please send me an email and help me figure this one out!).
So what happens after we submit our list of preferences? A group of State employees meet in secrecy and determine our fate and reveal such during the Flag Day ceremony (so termed because FSOs receive a flag of their host country when their match is revealed….think along the lines of receiving a rose during “the Bachelor” except that the flag actually represents something more exciting than a group date with a handsome bachelor…ok, on second thought, maybe the date isn’t so bad…..well, I digress….). Will Flag Day be an adrenalin rush? You bet…. So stay tuned to find out where we end up and if I can handle it….oh, and to get the comments going on this blog, I encourage you to post 3 cities where you think we might end up….. whoever is correct (or in close proximity) might receive a final rose….