Bid List Submitted

It's a strange feeling, like a giant load has been lifted from our shoulders but that a different, perhaps even larger load has been placed squarely upon them.  Max and I submitted our bid list tonight.  As we do with most big things of an internet submission nature, we pushed the send button together with our respective index fingers.  Aahhhh, isn't that precious?  I know.  We did it for Grad School and each step of the Foreign Service labyrinth and things turned out pretty well on both accounts.  If ever there was a time to worship the Gods of superstition, I figure this is it.

I can't really spill about specific countries, but I think it's safe to follow suit of a friend of mine and tell you our preferences in a round about way.  We get three.  Max's CDO (Career Development Officer) will look at these preferences, our bid list rankings and "The Needs of the Service" of course, and make a decision based on those things.  Be warned, our preferences aren't juicy demands - they are almost as flexible as you can get in terms of where they put us on the map.  But isn't that fun?

1) We want to stay together, with any children who might enter into the family.  Not an announcement, just a precaution.  Excessive restrictions on my movement about the city and my ability to interact with locals/culture/nature/history are what we are trying to avoid.  BUT we also want to go somewhere with a high enough differential (money they pay you extra if a post is remote/lacks basic goods and services - that kind of thing) to be eligible for student loan repayment.  We have been students for a long time and we've been blessed to travel quite a bit for school...that's expensive.  We are willing to put in some time in the boonies for a little bit of gov'ment student loan repayment.

2) Max wants to either fulfill his entry level duty as a consulate officer or work specifically with his area of interest. 

3) Max wants to either practice Arabic, Hebrew, Portuguese, or Spanish or learn something new.

Our bids are all over the place geographically and each one holds an entirely different possible reality.  It's all at once thrilling and mind melting.

In related news, I'm going to sign up to take the same consulate training course that the Officers take.  If there is room, I can be trained to fill any openings that the embassy can't fill by regular officers.  Isn't that rad?  I'd probably be just as happy making books in my studio, but it's nice to know I could do interesting work at post if I wanted.

Will keep you posted....about our post.  Flag day is next Friday so light a candle for us!


  1. I hope you guys get your highs. I can't wait until flag day. Just 10 more days!

  2. i love reading these. Question about #1: it seems that you're saying that 1) you don't want an unaccompanied post and 2) you'd like a high diff post. But aren't there no unacc. posts on a first tour, so do you have to state it? And isn't this 2 priorities in 1?

    I've been struggling w mine, should I ever get in, and I seem to have 4...which is why I'm wondering.

    re: 3- so you can specify languages? Could you say, for ex, I want to learn Arabic only?

    thanks for any insight- I'm excited for your flag day!

  3. Best of luck! Can't wait to hear!

  4. Ahh, really good questions. #1: Yes, it kind of is two in one. We framed it in such a way as to say "We want to have hardship, but not be separated". One is kind of a qualifier or the other I guess.

    You are right, there are no unaccompanied posts on your first bid list, BUT there are posts that do not allow children and some of the posts have a history of going on unaccompanied status for periods of time. We are just trying to avoid those posts.

    From what I understand, your "preferences" are just that. You could certainly say "I would prefer to learn Arabic" and they, in theory, will take that into consideration. They will talk to you a lot about what is appropriate to write down and what isn't, but regional preferences are just fine so I bet language preferences would be fine too. Good luck!

  5. Holy moly. You did it! Can't wait to hear the big news.

    I'll be thinking of you and crossing my fingers you get the location you want. I figure I'm sort of invested in this as well, seeing as how your post is the same place I'll be vacationing next summer. ;)

  6. thanks for the clarification Brooke! I can't wait to hear about flag day.

  7. The wait is on once again! Welcome to the FS! :) Can't wait to hear how Flag Day goes. Hopefully you will be at the beginning of the ceremony!

  8. Great! Hope you're happy with the flag you get. Look forward to hearing your news!