It’s been one month since I started orientation (A-100) at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), so I thought an update is in order.
1. My Classmates Rock
Around 90 people make up the 175th A-100 Class, and all are incredibly top-notch. Folks in the class have mastered many languages, started their own non-profits, been TV personalities, written books, and parented multiple children. Some are mid-career professionals while others are more recent graduates. Past employment is incredibly diverse – bankers, lawyers, professors, development professionals, relief workers, civil servants, missionaries, pilots, journalists, business-owners, among many others. Conversations with these folks are never dull, and I am happy to start a new career with such a supportive cohort.
2. I went to West Virginia
The Foreign Service is already taking me to strange new lands – two nights in West Virginia for some fun team building. Highlights included a mock embassy reception, where we practiced herding eccentric guests through a receiving line, and a hilarious variety show. Although I didn’t get to spend too much time interacting with local culture, a poignant moment came one morning at breakfast when I asked the waitress for tea instead of coffee. Rather than ask me if I’d like it black or white, she asked me if I wanted it sweet or unsweet. Yes, she thought I wanted to drink a giant sweet iced tea for breakfast – in January.
3. We have a Home Again
For the first time since October, I have slept in the same bed for over three weeks! Feels good to be more stable and not living out of a suitcase. Beyond the apartment, reunions with old friends have made the move feel even more like a home-coming.
4. Friday our Fate is Sealed
Friday is Flag Day, when I’ll hear my name called and walk to the front of the room to collect the flag of the country which will be our home for the next two years. Hard to describe my emotions since the experience seems so surreal. I’m both looking forward to and dreading the day, but I’m trying to prepare myself and accept any place we might land.
So stay tuned friends, your future vacation get-away will shortly be revealed. And in the meantime, check out David and Brandon’s recent post on, The World’s Worst and Most Disappointing Flags.