Well, i survived my first day. It is again brutally apparent that i am the youngest in the class, but hey, what can you do? There are three other people from Memphis, which in a group of 61 is demographically freakish. i've met a lot more people, which is nice... only one other Arabic specialist, which makes my bidding process more interesting.
Speaking of! Here's my list of places to which i might go. i have sorted them into strong possibilities and places in which i am not particularly interested. That's not to say that i would dislike any particular place... it's more of a comment on my prior knowledge of languages and cultures!
Baku, Azerbaijan - My first choice, a political/economic tour leaving in June.
Cairo, Egypt - Not high on my list, surprisingly, because it's consular (blah) and leaves in August. i don't need that much Arabic!
Dubai, UAE - Not particularly high because serving here wouldn't qualify me for partial student loan forgiveness, and because it's consular and i wouldn't use much Arabic (which isn't even required for the position).
Islamabad, Pakistan - An interesting one-year consular tour, although it would require learning Urdu and leaving in August. Not a high choice, but not a bad tour.
Istanbul, Turkey - This is a political tour, which would be amazing, although the drawback is that i would need to leave ASAP and i'm not comfortable in modern Turkish yet (Azeri is very similar but still a separate language). One bonus is that there don't seem to be any Turkish speakers in my class - low competition since i have a leg up on Turkic stuff!
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - It's a political and economic one-year rotation, which sounds really nice, but it leaves in August. That's a lot of time to kill. Upon reflection, this is probably my best bet.
Jerusalem, Israel - Requires Hebrew but can be converted to an Arabic position with some hard lobbying. i won't be lobbying for this one; i intend to avoid anything dealing with Israel and Palestine in an attempt not to sink my academic career before it even starts.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - A consular, one-year tour leaving next September. Not high on my list.
And now, the rest. i won't add anything else on this post... just savor the possibilities!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Hong Kong, China
Johannesburg, South Africa
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mexico City, Mexico
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Port au Prince, Haiti
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Salvador, El Salvador
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Seoul, South Korea