February 2012

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On Freetown and well meaning State Department employees

Please stop saying, “I’m sorry,” when I say that I’m going to Freetown. Bertrand and I are thrilled for many reasons, among them the fact that, of the many challenges offered by the Foreign Service, the challenges that we’ll face in Freetown are among those we are very familiar with. Power? Water? Lack of availability of Western goods? Corruption? Cultural differences? Income inequalities? No roads? Flooded out roads?

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

This time, we get to do it in a home with real air conditioning. We’ll have a car. We’ll be able to afford child care, so both of us can work full time. We’ll have the State Department supporting us! And keeping everything running smoothly will be my job, not just something that has to be dealt with between projects and client meetings.

We’ve got two weeks left, and I am so anxious to go I can barely contain myself. Maternity leave was an amazing change to spend time with my new daughter, but now I’m ready to get to work. We said we wanted to spend six months in the States, and we’ve done just that. Needless to say, I’m excited to go to Freetown. I’m excited to start working as a GSO. And I’m really really really excited to start my Foreign Service career.

Good-bye, January, hello February!

We’ve narrowed down Jasmine’s food allergies. She’s allergic to dairy and soy, two things that are really hard to avoid here in the States, but will not be at all hard to avoid in Freetown. Everything has a way of working out.

I’ve also figured out a blogging schedule. That is, I’ve figured out where I’m going to find time to blog, and it is getting up ass early in the morning, feeding the baby twice while I get ready for work, then heading into FSI two hours before class starts so that I can get a few minutes at a computer to check stuff off my TODO list.

Awesome.

Food and fitness wise, nothing extraordinary is going on. That changes today! It is the first day of a new month, and I’m determined to do a better job of moving towards my 2012 goals in February than I did in January.

This month’s goals:

  • One SVO post per week
  • Write something (anything!) here on HMNTI every weekday that I’m not travelling
  • Track my food on all days that I’m not travelling
  • Walk 10k steps per day. Especially on the days that I’m travelling.

Happy February, everyone!