|Darrin in good spirits at the start of flag day.|
My life goes by in the blink of an eye. Does that happen to you too? Jeesh. Now then. On December 9th we attended a very special event called Flag Day at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Lulu and I met Darrin there since he had a tour of the CIA that morning (but since the CIA doesn't exist I'm not sure what he was really doing. He did bring home some presents from the gift shop though.) Flag Day is the ceremony where the new hires get to find out where their first post will be. In November, Darrin received the bid list of open posts and submitted his preferences to his career adviser. There were 52 open posts and he had to rank each of them as high, medium, or low. He ranked all the posts in Latin America as high and medium and all the posts in Asia and Africa as low. I was a bit of a wreck up to the day of the ceremony. I was waking up almost every night thinking about Ciudad Juarez. That was a very real possibility for us. I was sort of sure that we were going there. I mean I was waking up thinking about what I would do if we got posted there. I had an apartment in Albuquerque in my plans. Darrin was one of the last names called. I had the list printed out with me and kept checking off the posts as they were called. Juarez was still on the list when they called him but phew we got Sao Paulo, Brazil instead. HOLY COW! We are going to Brazil. Sao Paulo is the biggest city in the southern hemisphere. It is 21 million people! Talk about culture shock! We are super excited and feel like we got one of the best posts available. Woot!
|Just received the Brazil flag.|
|Our friends with their China flag. They are going to Shanghai. Shin is Malaysian and won't need language training. Lucky!|
|Our Family. Lulu held that flag tight for the rest of the day.|
|Another friend going to China. Ariel's family is going to Beijing.|
|Lulu is ready for Brazil. She thought we were leaving right away.|
The next week, on December 16, Darrin had his swearing in ceremony which means he is officially a foreign service officer. This ceremony was at Main State which is State Department headquarters in D.C. - where Ms. Clinton herself has a very fancy office - I actually got to see it. It was all very official and nowhere near as fun as Flag Day where everyone was whooping it up. Darrin's parents came for the swearing in and thank god they did because Grammie is a god-send for Lulu and knows just how to keep her occupied...with candy. We took the metro in and a taxi back and I impressed everyone with my taxi hailing skills, just like in Laverne and Shirley.
|Even double fisting the licorice, Lulu wants no part of the swearing in ceremony.|
|164th A-100 Class. 52 members taking their oath to office.|
|Do I see a future diplomat?|