March 2007, applied online for Foreign Service Specialist position with State Department
August 2007, passed oral exam
January 2008, passed top secret security clearance and medical clearance
February 2008, invited to the 100th Class of Specialists in Washington DC
March 2008, packed up the house, sold junk, gave away goodies, got in the car and DROVE cross-country with Laura from Austin to DC. Arrived tired, hungry, exhausted.
The first day of class we were "sworn in" in the Woods room of the FSI complex. You quickly learn to live by acronyms. Believe me, three letters can stand for everything in the world. We promised to "preserve and protect and defend the constitution of the United States, to protect our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic." And a bunch of other things I forgot in the emotional moment of raising my right hand. The remainder of day one was a blur due to lack of sleep due to high anxiety of what to wear on the first day!
Memories of the first day...
*About 67 people in my class. We call ourselves "Foreign Service Specialist Candidates." There are about 10 different Specialities; including mine: Office Management Specialist.
*Everyone seems so capable, smart, intelligent. Then I think, "wait a minute, I'm in this group!" If finally hits me that I was specially selected....just like all these other talented people in the room.
*All the men wear suits and ties. It's great to be in a room with all these handsome, clean-cut guys. I feel like I'm surrounded by FBI or Secret Service!
*We get a tour of the facilities and I feel like a kindergartner being led around....where is the rope we hang on to? The mention the bathrooms more than once, so I guess that's important?
*We get our list of possible countries of assignment at 4pm. Everyone pours over the list and hopes to get a good country. We have a week to research our choices and then we rank them in the order we want them. So far I'm leaning towards Africa, but who knows where I'll end up.
Here is the list of possible places I could be sent to:
Abidjan, Ivory Coast, AFRICA
Abuja, Nigeria, AFRICA
Freetown, Sierra Leone, AFRICA
Kinshasa, Congo, AFRICA
Monrovia, Liberia, AFRICA
Nassau, THE BAHAMAS
Tel Aviv, ISRAEL
I miss everyone and will try and keep you updated as much as possible. So far....."I'M LOVING IT!!!"