Saturday, July 24, 2010

Flag Day

A-100 came and went before I even had time to comment on my experience. I had a class of 94 incredibly talented, highly educated, individuals with a bevy of diverse experiences abroad. One common theme in our group was lawyers. It seems everyone in my class was a lawyer at one time or another. We also had a lot of really tall people, and about five bald guys. It was a great dynamic.

When we received our list of possible destinations we were in awe. There was everything from Havana, Cuba to Hanoi, Vietnam. We decided we wanted to be in the developing world and that we wanted an adventure. Accordingly, we bid all hardship posts high and all language posts high as we wanted to learn a new language. We were warned up front that it would be unlikely we would be able to serve in Vietnam because Duong's family is all there. As it turns out, we are precluded from serving there for five to ten years. =( Oh well, I guess we'll have to spend the next decade seeing new places.

When flag day came I was surprisingly nervous. I had been so cool throughout A-100 but it wasn't until flag day that the reality of moving to another country to work actually hit me. To make it worse, it was about 100 degrees that day and I was just sweating. Flag day is really intense because they hold up a flag of a country, read the name of the country, and call out the name of the person going there. I was about the third person called, and it took me by surprise. I saw a green and white striped flag and heard ... Abuja, Nigeria. In addition to having the third largest film industry in the world, i.e., Nollywood, I've always wanted to go to Africa. So, WE ARE STOKED! We're a little worried about the crime, violence, heat, and spiders, but other than that, this is going to be an adventure of a lifetime.

We leave in a little over a month, and we have so much to do. We need to buy a car, get diplomatic passports, get visas, finalize Duong's mother's I-130 form so she can come live with us, etc. We'll keep you posted.


  1. hi, just discovered your blog- congrats and glad you are happy about your assignment. looking forward to hearing about it.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, but actually, we were just informed we won't be going to Nigeria. I'll post more later, but essentially, when they say you have to be "flexible," they mean it. =)