Following a mad few weeks during which CW stopped working, we both spent numerous days sorting out things in the house and tried to see people and things we truly care about. Finally a Saturday afternoon trip to Heathrow beckoned. It was very difficult to go our separate ways (temporarily) and only the knowledge that this is leading to bigger and better things could really prompt us to be apart anymore.
Cora has stayed behind in London for the time being, which has included packing up the house and moving in with friends while finishing up some important work projects.
Meanwhile, CW has gallivanted off to DC to join his 76 classmates in what is called the A-100 orientation class. This is a six-week training class that all FSO generalists take upon entry to the Foreign Service. It is a mixture of skills training, information dump and team building. My classmates are an amazing group – lots of former military, peace corps, lawyers, and generally successful people who speak lots of languages and have some great international experience. I am lucky and honoured to be a part of this fantastic 170th class!
The training included sessions on how to write diplomatic cables, speak to foreign audiences and not put your foot in it during a press conference or Q&A session. The last in that list was really good fun as we broke into small groups and were able to pepper one another with the most ridiculous questions we could think of and occasionally act rather rude. Our group may or may not have really gone overboard on those fronts! The training also included a rather eventful off-site leadership event, complete with a lot of drinking, a SNL type performance, and CW leading the entire class to success in the final exercise – overcoming the Death Star while wearing a bright orange winter hat and screaming a lot. It was a strange couple of days.
The time ticked by very quickly and we arrived at the fateful day when lots of family and friends would be in attendance to witness the great revelation of where our next two years will take us – flag day!