Training Day

Unlike Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke’s harrowing day in a crime-ridden neighborhood of south central LA, my training days involve zero controlled substances. However, some of what we are learning is just as interesting!

One of the things that really made me want to join the foreign service is that we get paid to learn – it’s a nice role reversal while I continue to barely make a dent on my student loan principal every month. I have just completed the Basic Consular Course (affectionately known as ConGen), which means that after six weeks of reading immigration law, passing a lot of tests and dressing up for role plays, I am now allowed to adjudicate visas (!).

Next week, we will start the much-anticipated Foreign Affairs Counter Threat class, known colloquially as the “Crash Bang” training. I am really looking forward to five days of practicing vehicle ambush countermeasures, surviving a hostage situation, and applying tourniquets. Bonus: spouses are encouraged to take the class, too, so G will be crashing cars alongside me!

And then, after one more month of job training, G and I will both start Arabic. I’ve already made some flash cards to try and get a head start on the alphabet. I present to you: five different letters, all of which will be written in cursive, presumably with other letters, to form words. This is Daal, Raa, Laam, Dhall, Zaa. :-O

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