My Adventures as a U.S. Diplomat and Family Man

First Stop: Tel Aviv, Israel (July 2012)!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Transition Time

Here is a long overdue blog post. So much has happened over the past nine months that I don't know where to begin and I won't even try to chronicle all the comings and goings. I sure could use a ghost writer like all the big wigs. This brief recap penned by yours truly will have to suffice:

- During the first half of 2014, dots of important people visited Israel, which made my job challenging but also rewarding at times.
- In April, the family took a long-awaited Mediterranean cruise. Memorable ports of call included Venice, Santorini, Athens, Corfu and Dubrovnik.
- In June, Mrs. DiploDad joined the ranks of the Foreign Service and learned her first assignment will be Mexico City beginning in March 2015, shortly before I am scheduled to arrive (Yay!).
- After leaving Israel amidst rockets and an escalating war, I spent an utterly serene and uneventful month of August in Colorado for home leave. What's home leave? Read this humorous, yet accurate account by one of my colleagues.
- The first day of school for all four members of the household was on September 3. The boys seem to have adjusted well and are enjoying playing new sports.

As for me, I am back in the familiar routine of full-time language study: five hours of class a day followed by countless more hours of self-study. I have a total of 24 weeks to acquire a professional level of proficiency in Spanish but I am trying to be more disciplined at the outset than I was for Hebrew. So far my mindset has ranged between headiness (i.e. "holy crap, I rock for remembering that Spanish word from the 11th grade!) and fear (i.e. "holy crap, I have to speak a lot better Spanish than I did in the 11th grade!).

Those sentiments pretty much sum up the first two weeks of class. I was placed with a group of four other "non-beginners" who are actually quite advanced so I had to step up my game. Initially, I felt up to the challenge. Spanish spilled out of the dark recesses of my mind and reading a language without having to decipher a non-Romanized script was like running without 20-pound ankle weights. Last week was humbling when the focus turned to grammar though. My self-confidence was shaken but I am confidence I will recover soon. I can find some comfort that I still have plenty of time to master the fundamentals.

For the time being, the transition between the first and second posts is going smoothly. The kids are excited about new experiences in Mexico but they are enjoying a healthy dose of Americana. The DiploCouple are also holding up well, getting used to living together again after spending most of the summer apart.

Over the coming months, I'll try to reflect on the past year and share more about what lies ahead. I regret not being a better blogger. My trials and tribulations in Spanish may not be juicy material for my memoirs but I'll do something for the few people who still read this blog.              

1 comment:

  1. Just heard you passed your test de Espanol. Congratulations!!!
    We (whole family) always read your posts religiously and can't wait for more of your blogs,

    Have a great week-end and Happy Holidays,
    Gray Famiy