Wednesday, July 10, 2013
The Pros and Pros of My Onward Assignment
The envelope please...And the location of my next tour goes to...Mexico City!
I know it's not so momentous when the news is two weeks old. Many readers of this blog already learned of the winner when Mrs. DiploDad broke the news on her Facebook page. Saying I got scooped is an understatement. But what seems like laziness is actually caginess on my part. I couldn't just put out some knee-jerk reaction. I had to process the news and this blog needed time to age like a fine wine...or like that jar of salsa with the blooming white mold that I forgot in the fridge.
Don't worry. I'm very happy about getting Mexico City. Truth be told, I ranked it numero uno among several dozen other viable spots on my bid list. While I didn't devise a complex algorithm for weighing all the pros and cons of the various locations, there was one factor that stood out: it offers the best chance of Mrs. DiploDad and I serving together. This is our top priority moving forward as a tandem couple in the Foreign Service. More on that later.
I've heard a lot of good things about living and working in Mexico City based on the numerous post reports I read. Food and culture appear to top the list. Finally mastering Spanish is also a big plus. I am hoping that my two young kids will also achieve some level of fluency since their minds are still considerably more supple than mine at this point in life. Not to be overlooked, Mexico City will be a relatively short 3.5 hour direct fight to home for occasional holidays and long weekends.
Mexico City obviously comes with some drawbacks. I'd rather not invite any second guessing by listing them here. Besides those kinds of lists tend to lead to problems. Remember that episode of Friends when Ross made up the list of pros and cons about Rachel? Wait, did I really just use a 90s sitcom as rationale? That scene was probably the fifth most cheesiest one I have provided a link to in this blog. Please tell my wife to block me and my 7-year-old son from random YouTube searches, especially the ones that involve poorly choreographed flash mobs.
For this reason, I am going to continue to bask in the positives of my onward assignment, at least until it comes time to actually pack up and move. That brings me to the emerging plan for Mr. and Mrs. DiploDad. It will likely entail some time apart but we hope it will be minimal.
In July 2014, the Mrs. will hopefully return to the U.S. to begin her A-100 orientation class, assuming the federal government is still operating and the State Department is still hiring. At that time she will also hopefully receive a bid list with Mexico City on it. The chances are good it will be, but we won't know for sure if we are both going to Mexico City or somewhere else until her Flag Day later in August. By that time, I will be back in the States on home leave and will be one of the nervous spouses sitting in the audience when she receives her assignment. We also need a bit more luck as timing is important too. If all goes according to plan, we both will do a 24-week course of Spanish. I'll then take a consular training course and will depart for Mexico City towards the end of March, hopefully around the same time as the rest of the family. We'll see...
This is all a long ways off and it's best not to dwell too much on all the hypotheticals. For now, I am just focused on my work and life in Tel Aviv, which will be one year as of tomorrow. It's been a great first tour and I think my second tour will also be rewarding. Until then, viva la Mexico!