Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Homeward Bound

My combination training/leave time in the states is winding down. I will fly back to Muscat, Oman on Friday and I am really ready to get home!  I've done my shopping, attended my classes and am now ready to get back to work and my normal routine.

No visit home would be complete without seeing my Dad in Fort Worth. At 96, he is still sharp as a tack and as stubborn as ever.  While I was there, Texas was experiencing a heat wave with many days in a row over 100 degrees.  This tough old bird insisted on spending hours in the garage in the heat of the afternoon, working at his workbench. He loves making walking sticks out of bamboo that grows along the driveway.
My sweet 96 year young Dad
We tried to get him to come in during those hot afternoons but he insisted on going out in the garage.  The day after I left for Washington, he became severely confused and after a visit to the emergency room and a battery of tests, the doctor said he had suffered a heat stroke.  Maybe now he will wait for cooler weather to resume his hobby.

It's been great seeing old friends here at the Foreign Service Institute.  Everywhere I turn, I see someone I went to training with or someone I met in Honduras.  You realize that it is really a very small world. It also makes you see how being a part of the Foreign Service family affords you the opportunity to meet so very many people...people who become friends for life.  Just think...I have friends all over the world.  After I retire, if I could afford to get there, I will have friends to stay with just about anywhere!!  Just one more benefit of this job.

The bid list has come out and I do have some interesting choices.  The process goes like this.  I pick 5-6 places I would love to serve.  I then campaign for the position...or, to put it differently, I do everything I can to convince those people at my chose places to offer me the position.  Unlike the first 2 assignments where I was directed, I must find my next job on my own.  As soon as I get back to Oman, I can begin the process of emailing the section head (for me it will be the Regional Security Officer).  I will also contact the Management Officers of the Embassy, as well as the person who holds the position I am interested in.  I'll also look up all the information on the posts which will include housing, weather, safety and the reports from those who have served there.  Those reports are usually very blunt and honest and can really help you make up your mind.  The places I am interested in so far are Berlin, Vienna, Jerusalem and Tijuana.  Tijuana, you ask????  How did that one make it in there???  Well, since this will be my final tour, Tijuana caught my eye for a number of reasons.  I would save lots of money on regional travel.  If I went to Vienna or Berlin or Jerusalem, I would have to see Italy, Greece, get my point.  Tijuana is a 3-4 hour flight to Hawaii where my son and his wife and my 3 grandsons live, so I would be able to see them fairly often.  It's also about the same flight to see Dad in Texas.  I grew up in Coronado, just across the border from Tijuana.  And I love Mexican food. And I speak Spanish.  It may not be Europe, but I could be happy there.  But...who knows.  It's very early in the process and I haven't begun really to make my move.  As of right now, they are all my #1 choices!


Jane said...

You say "final tour". So does that mean you are then back in the U.S. for good and no more working around the world? That would be too bad. I think you should opt for Vienna!

Debi said...

Jane, the Foreign Service has mandatory retirement at 65. That means after I finish my tour in Oman, I will only have 2 years before I hit that dreaded age. I would love to get Vienna...or Berlin...or Jerusalem! They all sound wonderful. I would love to 'go out' on a great note from a third fantastic tour!

Islamic Information said...

Lovely Article of your Life. Insha-ALLAH you will succeed in your Life. (Ameen). You are in Islamic country & you are going to visit Pakistan. Hope you have a good visit. I have a blog on Islamic Information hope you may like it at

Debi said...

Thank you! Shukran!