Flag Day

2000px-Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia

Yesterday was the most dramatic day of A-100 so far – Flag Day! During the first week of orientation, they gave our class a list of about 60 different posts around the world. We submitted our preferences a couple of weeks later, and on Flag Day we learned which post we are going to, when we are leaving, and what our training schedule is until then!

None of us know where we are going before the Flag Day ceremony begins. They gather us in a large room and go through the countries one by one in a random order, project the flag of the country on the screen, announce the name of the post and the job, and then call out your name. When your name is called, you walk to the front of the room and they hand you the flag of the country you will be going to, snap a photo, and then give you a folder with your future training schedule.

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I had printed out a list of all the posts, and had a grand plan to write down the names of my classmates with where they were going, but just as I was organizing myself and getting ready to write everything down, I was the second person (out of 98 people!) called!

G and I are moving to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in May 2017!! I will be a consular officer in Jeddah. This post was one of my top choices on the list, but I wasn’t expecting it because I had wrongly assumed I would be sent to a francophone country.

We have a LOT of things to do before we leave!

  1. Learn Arabic. (!)
  2. Apply for G’s U.S. citizenship.
  3. Take area studies classes, job training, and a multitude of hands-on and online courses to prepare.
  4. Research everything we can on life in Saudi Arabia.
  5. Celebrate!! We are so excited – this is going to be a fantastic post, and G will even be able to do some of the best scuba diving in the world!

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