Welcome, all. i hope you enjoy reading about my process of becoming a Foreign Service junior officer. Later on, you'll be able to read about my life abroad, although i probably won't be able to say anything but generalities about my job at the embassy or my training. For now, enjoy the fact that you don't have 18 different forms to fill out in triplicate.
i'd like for this to be more than a simple blog where i write and you read. i'll try to raise questions that invite discussion in the comments section, and i will probably seek your advice and input. (i'm in the process of planning a DIY photo expedition - you tell me what to seek out in my new home city, i find it [within reason] and photo it for posting here!) More than anything, i'd like for this to be one of the primary ways i keep in touch with people while i'm abroad. Time zone considerations will make the phone difficult, and i'd rather not answer 20 individual how's-it-going emails a week!
i'm in the early stages of preparation for the move to DC. i can only do the most basic things right now, like fill out paperwork and research health insurance options. Once i get my travel orders, things will kick into high gear. The orders will be issued 30 days before my assignment in DC starts, so around 17 or 18 August i have to arrange to get all of my possessions shipped to DC, switch my bank account to a military account (better amenities, it seems), find COBRA insurance, get my vaccinations up to date... i also need to find insurance that will cover me renting in DC, my stuff being shipped via boat and plane abroad, anything in my home abroad, and probably other circumstances i haven't considered. i like that one of the brochures included in my packet of forms and information from State included information about kidnap, ransom, and extortion insurance. At least they don't sugarcoat things!