Sunday, April 9, 2017

FLAG DAY

WE'RE GOING TO NAIROBI, KENYA!

Let's rewind a bit. We just had Flag Day, which is like a Foreign Service graduation except it happens before you're done with orientation training (A-100). It's very reality TV-esque, with officials announcing all of your posts in random order in front of your colleagues, family, and friends. When your name is called, you go up to the front to pick up your flag and get your training packet that says how much longer you have before you move abroad. It's exciting and nerve-wracking for literally everyone.

I was called in about the middle of the pack, but I was shocked to get a Public Diplomacy (PD) job in Nairobi.

To answer the question I keep getting: Yes, I bid Nairobi really high on my list and am so happy to serve there! Here are just a few of the reasons I'm super stoked to go:

  • I have no experience in Africa. I'm excited to stretch my abilities and try something new. There's a reason they call Foreign Service Officers "Generalists," after all!
  • The job itself is amazing. There aren't a ton of PD Officers (like myself) in my A-100, but there were even fewer PD jobs. We were told early on that we cannot expect to gain experience in our preferred career track right away because there's simply a scarcity of available PD positions. I am one of the lucky few who get to have that PD experience right off the bat.
  • The weather is perfection. When I read reviews of life in Nairobi, my heart soared at "Don't bother bringing winter clothes." The temperature generally ranges from 50-77°F (10-25°C). This is a big deal for me!
  • I will have experiences I can't have anywhere else. Safari, anyone?
  • I've heard great things. I've heard morale in Nairobi is very high, and there's a tight-knit expat community spanning a range of governments, international organizations, and nonprofits.
  • The Internet is good. This was a big factor for us, because M needs to be able to telework.
  • Our lease expires right on time. In all seriousness, I was a local hire, so I'm ready to shake things up and get out there as soon as possible. Also, our lease is going to end when we need to leave, which is extremely convenient.

We can't wait for the next adventure!

3 comments:

  1. You're going to love Kenya!! Friendly people, beautiful country and fantastic weather!! If you get tired of 72 degrees, head east to see us KL for 90 and humid :) (Matt Dean)

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    1. We can't wait! We'd also love to visit Malaysia, but it might be a bit far for this tour. :)

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  2. Flag Days, depending on the country, are generally 'codified' in decrees by heads of state, or in written statutes.swooper flags

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