Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things Are Happening

Once you finally get an assignment, things start moving at a blistering pace. We were just HR-paneled, which means we were officially approved for our new assignment to Jordan. When that happened, a cable was generated welcoming us to post and giving us information on applying for visas, shipping cars, shipping pets, shipping household effects and so on. Then a housing cable arrived, instructing us to fill out a questionnaire listing our housing preferences in order (close to Embassy or far? Ground-floor apartment or higher up? Covered parking? Close to shops? Residential?). Based on our preferences, our rank and our family size, we'll be assigned something the next time the housing board meets. It'll likely be an apartment, as most of the housing in Jordan is composed of apartments. It will also likely be within a 10-minute drive of the Embassy, possibly even walking distance - such a welcome change from our current commute!

I've already contacted the school we're planning on using for the boys, and I'm busy filling out forms, pulling report cards and test records, asking for teacher recommendations, etc. We also have to choose a pre-school for Kyra, sight unseen, because they fill up fast. I'm looking into sending her to the same school as the boys if we can afford it - the only problem is, she won't learn Arabic in pre-school at that school, and I was kind of hoping for a bilingual pre-school. So we'll see.

We can't make summer travel plans yet, because the gaining post (Amman), the losing post (Beijing) and the Bureau all have to argue it out and decide who gets my husband, when. Unfortunately, the person he's replacing doesn't have an onward assignment yet, so we have to wait for his assignment to fall in place before those negotiations can begin. But I think we're planning on leaving here just as soon as school ends in June, doing a month of home leave and two weeks of training/consulations in DC, and then heading to Amman in early August, just in time for school to start. That's what we hope will happen, anyway. So much of this is still out of our hands.

But it's real, people, and it feels a little bit scary, a little bit sad and a little bit exciting, all in turn. Only 4 and a half months to go in Beijing....


Linsey said... [Reply]

Congrats on Jordan and good look navigating ALL the details. I cannot imagine how different it will be living there after Beijing, but I'm sure it will be an adventure.

Catherine said... [Reply]

Hi, I stumbled across your blog while I was trying to find info on DS... I'm a formed Marine Security Guard and know where you're coming from... I am actually getting ready to go in for my second interview with DS next week (for becoming a DS Agent). If I make it, I'll have my husband read your blogs, it might help him understand a bit more of what the foreign service is like.
Good luck with your next post assignment... I loved Amman by the way!

Donna said... [Reply]

Linsey - so true. Most everything about Beijing and Jordan is completelt different: system of government, attitudes toward America, weather... everything!

Catherine - good luck with interview #2. It's a long process, applying for a job with DS. But it's a good organization, I think. Let me know how the interview goes.

Anonymous said... [Reply]

Hello Donna. Just came across your latest news re moving to Jordan. How long will you all be stationed there? Will you be home this summer?
Sounds as if all are doing well but we do miss you here back in Vienna, VA. Take care. Eugenia (Gina) and the gang.

Connie said... [Reply]

I'm hoping we will have an early R&R this summer and be back in Amman by end of July early August, so hopefully will be here when you land! I believe you will find life here much more relaxing. After Cairo, I find it so very quiet and peaceful! I was going to say that the only thing I could hear from my open window this morning was birdsong, but the gardener just showed up with the lawnmower :D This is a stressful time... you're on your way, but not going anywhere yet! Very confusing! :) But it doesn't last and soon you'll be at the stage I am... sitting at the kitchen table, reading blogs, trying to avoid looking at all the boxes that need to be unpacked...

trmilliman said... [Reply]

Hi, I came across your blog through another blog and felt compelled to write because we are posted in Amman. My husband is an ARSO here. I'm sure he knows your husband or has at least heard of him. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I am here and if you need any information on the area, the Embassy or schools let me know. I also work at the Embassy and our kids go to ACS. We also have a dog so I can inform you of issues you may encounter if you are bringing a dog. We really like it here and I'm sure you guys will like it too. Let me know if you need anything.

Donna said... [Reply]

Hey Trmilliman - Yes, please, I'd love to ask you some questions. But you didn't leave your email address. I'll try to look you up on the State address system. Or you can find me via the publications tab on this blog and email me. I look forward to meeting you.

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