Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Year in Review

(now with corrected pictures)
It's hard to believe 2011 is already coming to a close. It's crazy to think that in the last year I've gone from being a poorly paid intern at a DC non-profit to U.S. Diplomat in Sudan. I think that's pretty good progress for one year, don't you? So here's a quick round-up of the excitement i've had over the past 12 months:

January: Interning in DC, dreaming of joining the foreign service, and studying Arabic to get some bonus points on the register.

February: A-100 invite! Flipping out excited. Time to move into DC, buy some suits, and finish up my job at NDI.

March: Quick vacation to Guatemala, then started my foreign service career with the amazing, vibrant 160th. In awe at all of my new colleagues, as we sit through lectures, practice speeches, and fantasize over the bid list.

April: It's Sudan! A-100 flew by, and now I know that I'm off to Khartoum for the next two years.

May: Pol/Econ training was great- because I actually had no idea what my job entailed before then. Starting to get really excited about doing political work in Sudan.

June: More training, first vibrant colleagues jet off, and I'm busy applying for my black passport and visa. Getting to spend lots of time with my amazing 160th friends and colleagues.

July: My departure date gets postponed, a learn about the wonders of consular work, and hear great updates from my 160th friend that already made it to Khartoum.

August: Embassy Khartoum, I have arrived! Khartoum is way better than I expected, and I jump right into pol and consular work.

September: I get to be acting consular chief for two weeks and manage to not cause any international incident. Really made me appreciate the amazing local staff we have at the embassy here.

October: I'm settling in to work, and get to go on my first trip to Darfur! Month ended with an excellent halloween party.

November: Vacation season is here, so off to Egypt for a week, then Dubai for Thanksgiving. Its refreshing to get a change of scenery and a frapuccino. The marine ball was a big success and fun to celebrate with our small corps of MSGs.

December: Work is in full gear, with visitors, meetings, and trips fulling up the schedule. I get to go to Juba, South Sudan for work and visit our colleagues at the newest US Embassy. Although people are heading off for vacation, we're just as busy as ever here- the joy and downfall of working at a high-priority post.

So all in all, a pretty darn amazing year. Here's hoping 2012 is just as great!

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