Two thumbs up for unexpected assignments! My first assignment was completely unexpected, to a place that other classmates were lobbying for but I felt “meh” about. I put on a brave face but felt slightly disappointed that it was taking me back to a part of the world near where I’d already been living before joining the service, ostensibly to “branch out” geographically. It turned out to be an amazing first assignment. There is nothing quite like the camaraderie of living in a difficult place! And you will learn a ton working as GSO – skills that will serve you for the rest of your career.
Thanks, EH. We actually bid Freetown very high, because it works for *us*. I’m glad your first assignment worked out! It’s funny that both you and the next commenter (Cupcake Diplomacy) spoke of community. That’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to.
Ugh, tell me about it. I get this every. single. time. I tell someone I’m going to Ciudad Juarez. I’m so tired of telling people that I’m actually really excited about it and that we’re joining a really tight-knit, super fun community.
Can I get an AMEN! I’m sure you get it worse than I do. I think we’ve talked about this, but CJ was just about the highest “middle” bid we put down. Hardship means different things to different people, and I’m glad you’re excited!
Don’t listen to the State Folks, Freetown is not that bad. I was a volunteer in Benin in the early 90’s and it reminds me of that level of development. If you liked Benin, you’ll have not problem here. I am currently the PC Admin Officer here and my wife is also an RPCV from Benin. We look forward to meeting you and your family! If you have any questions and would like a “non-State” response, drop me an email at email@example.com.
Tom, it’s great to hear from you! The weird thing about it is that many of those who’ve actually *been* to Freetown have wonderful things to say about it. I wonder if it, like some other cities in West Africa, have acquired a “reuptation” that they just can’t seem to shake.
And …. You’re off! We’re so excited for you. About time you were on your way. Enjoy it. This is one of the most exciting times of your life!
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