Sunday, September 27, 2009

¿Que hora es?

Welp, September is shaping up to be a lower posting month than August. I definitely didn't intend that to happen. I blame the uncertainty funk I've been in for the last three weeks. That and laziness. And Spanish.

Spanish class has actually been pretty interesting. It's surprising how much Spanish exposure I've had in my life without realizing it (thank you, Texas). I seem a lot less stressed that many of my other colleagues who are learning languages like Hindi, Arabic, or Tagalog. Spanish seems fairly easy (as far as languages go). But I'm expecting it to get very tough any day now.

I'm also expecting, any day now, to find out where we're really headed, when we're going, and what the interim holds for me. Yes, we did receive a bid list on Thursday, and no, I didn't post about it until today. I can't really just throw it up on the blog, but I can say that it had equal number of English and Spanish posts, and we're bidding for an English post. Some of the highlights include a great place to get fish and chips, and a land down under. Some of the lowlights include cities very close to Texas.

Other than location, there are many other factors to consider. Timing is a big one. A few of the very agreeable posts on our list have terrible timing for a February baby. Some posts are very expensive places to live. And one has a 7:00 PM curfew and comes with a standard-issue bulletproof vest.

I will also say that what we thought we wanted at first is not what we are gunning for.

My CDO hopes we can know by the end of this coming week. I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

No news

Still no news on where we'll be going. I hope we can get our new bid list next week, but it really up to how quickly MED can get all the clearances done.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Upswing

Consular officers are responsible for notifying the families of U.S. citizens who die overseas. In ConGen we briefly discussed the K├╝bler-Ross grief cycle because we're going to be dealing with some fairly grief-stricken people. You're probably familiar with the grief cycle (or something similar). It basically maps out standard human reaction to bad news. The simple form is:

Denial -> Anger -> Bargaining -> Depression -> Acceptance.

My reaction to this week's events have followed remarkably close to the cycle. Anger and depression were the most apparent stages, but there was definitely more than a hint of bargaining in my email to the CDOs. I won't claim to have reached full acceptance yet.

I did receive word yesterday from my CDO that they are putting together a new bid list of approved posts for us. This is both good and bad: good because we will some input in where we ultimately go, bad because it seems to take a long time to get posts approved. So we may not know where we're going for a quite a while.

In the meantime, I'll continue my Spanish studies. Please click here to see what class has been like this week.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sigh

Imagine a giant wrench. No, really...make it cartoon big. Now double it in size. Now throw it into your plans for the next couple of years. That's kinda how I feel.

We were informed yesterday (my last day of ConGen) that Malachi's Class 2 Medical clearance prohibits us from serving in Chengdu. A few hours later, they pulled me from Chinese and told me that I'd be learning Spanish (because it will be easier to find a post that Malachi is cleared for that way).

I'm working with my CDO (Career Development Officer) to explore all our options, but I'm having a tough time not feeling discouraged. Oh well.

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