11.10.2012

A New Adventure

If you've followed our journey long enough, you'll know that 'Tis The Season to be Jolly Anxious Excited Irritated on pins and needles.  For bidding time has come and gone.  While the stress of bidding usually comes around every few years for "normal" State Department folks, we have had the luxury of bidding on a new position every year for the past FOUR years.  Aren't we stupid special ....

Since we left India back in 2010 I haven't bothered to look at the available positions.  We knew we were going to stay Stateside for a few years (or at least the family would be).  We knew we were going to be settling in Northern Virginia.  We had a plan.

But in true DS fashion, nothing is ever set in stone. 

About six months ago, just prior to Matt leaving for Afghanistan, I told him that I wanted to reconsider our options.  I was getting that overseas 'itch' again.  I was feeling the travel bug hit ... hard.   So when the bid list came out several months ago, I must have perused it for hours.  Okay, several days.  All right ... many weeks.  But I wanted to make sure that I was comfortable with the places we were going to put on our list, for as everyone knows, we curtailed our final year from post in India.

Things have really changed since our last "BIG" bid season in 2007, when Matt was an ARSO in Tel Aviv.  When overseas positions were plentiful and communication was relatively decent.  Now?  There are FAR more agents than available posts.  And there's NO guarantee that JUST because you do an unaccompanied post that you will be rewarded with something decent.  Frankly, it's all about who you know, rather than what you know.  What's worse is the higher you climb within the organization, the fewer the overseas opportunities.  And if you're not able to make a "drug deal" and pimp out your six unborn children, chances are you're not getting anything .... even RSO Antarctica.  It's a broken, broken system.

I haven't told anybody, but I've been on edge for the past three months since we turned in our list.  While Matt has done TWO unaccompanied tours, a hardship tour in India, and worked a high profile job at DS headquarters, he isn't owed anything.  HE ISN'T OWED ANYTHING!!   And. It. Just. Plain. Sucks. 

Like all good DS agents, we played the bidding game well this year.  We turned in our list.  We lobbied.  We kissed tush.  We went through the consultative process for the VERY few positions that we were willing to take.  And all looked great.  GREAT.  GREAT. GREAT!

Until September 14th.  When one of our top positions suddenly left our list.  And our dreams for our next four years slowly faded away.  I can't and won't go into any details.  For they're irrelevant now and some things need to be left unsaid.  Discretion is the better part of valor, right?  Even if ...

But it hasn't been easy.  I've been on virtual pins and needles waiting for "the email."  The one that determines our new fate for the next four years.  Every time the panel in DC met, I was a wreck.   And I'm honest enough to admit that I felt a small sense of entitlement.  Friends overseas would post updates on Facebook and let us know what was assigned.  Three rounds of it went by before we heard anything ourselves. 

That is ... until last night.  When Matt finally got his email.  And we got one of the only 6 places that we put on our list! 

I needed time to process.   To finally talk to Matt about our future.  And after a long few months I am relieved to announce that the Perlman family will be moving NEXT summer.  In 2014.  Back overseas.

We will be going to ...



San Salvador, El Salvador

San Salvador filled ALL of our requirements.  It's a family-friendly post.  It's language designated (where Matt and I will BOTH be taking Spanish next year at FSI).  And it's a 3-year tour ... with R&R's. 

Oh yeah ... and it has a Starbucks too! 


So ... who's coming to visit?

23 comments:

OHmommy said...

ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Are you kidding me?!?

That is the only country in Central America that we haven't really visited. Flew into the airport and met some LOVELY people who were saying how we must visit. Consider us there FOR SURE. Maybe even twice in your 3 year stay.

So excited for you guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ps. You do know how serious I am, don't you? I missed you in India by a couple of months. I wil travel!!!

Daniela Swider said...

Congrats on San Salvador! It looks like it would be a great place for you guys!!!

Matty said...

All FIVE of us. :) So, so, so happy for you guys! xoxo

Betsy said...

Yay!!! That is so awesome! I took a little looksee online and it looks like an amazing place to live!

Anna See said...

ME!!!!!! I have always wanted to go to El Salvador! So excited about your news and know you are relieved! XOXO

Just US said...

Congratulations!!!

Pam@OurAdventuresInHomeImprovement said...

Congratulations! So glad it is working out for your family!

Pam

Donna said...

This is excellent news. Congratulations! I've heard lots of great things about that post, too. Such excitement...

Nomads By Nature said...

Thrilled for you!! Congratulations!

American in Norway said...

me me me... :-) How exciting for y'all! can't wait to hear all of the details!

Sadie said...

Woohoo!!! This will be AWESOME for you guys! SO happy for you :-).

Robin said...

I love the excitement in your voice - what a grand adventure this will be! Congratulations!

amy said...

WHat an amazing experience for your family. Very awesome and cool oppurtunity. Now to read the posts from there!

ericajgreen said...

Sounds great. And, I'll overlap in DC with you for a year. Plus getting a year of Spanish will be terrific!
Kudos!

Life is a Zoo in the Jungle said...

Congrats!

anymommy said...

Me too!! Me too!! Love it, congratulations.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I would LOVE to visit. But in the meantime...how about coffee soon?

Bethany Davidson-Widby said...

Congrats!! We're heading to El Salvador for New Year's for 6 days after 11 days of work in Guat. Will post pics so you can get even more excited!

Andrea TheBloggingMama said...

Yay! Very exciting. Ive watched House Hunters San Salvador. So it has to great, right? I will be coming to visit. There's sun. And warmth! Enough said!

We've been in Seattle 5 months and already we are looking at each other going, do you want to live here? No, do you?

We'll probably move back to Jersey! Lol. Despite being born here, I'm just not a west coaster after 11 years in the east.

Headless Mom said...

I know you're so excited.... I think you're crazy, but that's one of the things that I love about you! ;-)

WickieMommy said...

How exciting to know where you and your family will be living next - El Salvador! Now begins the preparation and that still seems daunting for me... We are new to all of this and just received our first overseas tour so I'm learning as I go, but it's nice to know where our family can call home again for a while. Best Wishes!

Naomi Hattaway said...

Congratulations, woman!!! Yes, you are crazy and that is what makes your life ... well, your life!

Can't wait to hear all about it!!!

(GOOD work, by the way to both of you!)

taleofatrailingspouse.com said...

WOW WOW WOW!!!!! I am really excited for you! I have not traveled to El Salvador but other South American countries and I really love the warmness of the people. I hope you will be very happy!

Blog Designed by: NW Designs