It all comes down to this

December 28, 2010 changed my life. After the extended prelude of my delayed application, lack of test seats after applying, then the written test, the Personal Narrative Questions, the Oral Assessment, the medical exams for me and the family, the security investigation, the final suitability review and then the waiting on the register, I’d finally gotten invited to join the Foreign Service.

Skip ahead to March 28, 2011. I’ve quit my job and moved to DC alone, leaving my family behind. I meet an amazing group of people who prove true to first impressions and have become a very tight and valuable group of friends and colleagues.  Then the bidding process, where I discovered that I really did want to go to Abuja, Nigeria, if possible. Somehow I forgot to learn what the national flag of Nigeria looked like and ended up surprised on Flag Day to be the first person assigned there. Diplomatic passport and visas, consultations and distance learning.

My family has visited twice and we’ve decided that they’ll stay in Japan for the next two years. I’ve purchased hundreds of pounds of food and “consumables” in addition to some toys (ipad; new bass and amp!) and appliances (tv, stereo, dvd player). I’ve got a whole slew of electricity converters and UPS to preserve my electronics and permit me to use them in spite of the consistent power outages in Nigeria.

And I’ve acquired a new family member, the coolest cat I’ve ever know, Sugar. Yesterday I was worried I might have to abandon her at the airport. Today I hold a rabies titer result (she’s clean!) as well as recent veterinary certificates. I’m pretty sure I’ll have no trouble tomorrow, which leads me to…tomorrow.

It has all come down to this. After all the preparation and testing and waiting and wondering and training and orientation and packing and flying and buying, it ends. Tomorrow I depart these United States in order to represent the President and nation and protect and promote the Constitution and the values our great nation is founded on.  It is a great honor to be able to serve this country.

It’s been a great two days here in New York City. I can sense its greatness even from the tiny bit I’ve seen over the last 36 hours. Now its off to Africa, to Nigeria, to Abuja for 2 years. How awesome is that?

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1 Comment

  1. Best of luck! I look forward to hearing about your experiences there.


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