By now you probably know that we're moving to a big embassy in an even bigger city, but today that vast unknown got a bit more focused. I received an e-mail from my predecessor saying that she knew who the woman was who was living in "your apartment" currently, and she'd see if that person could take some pictures for me.
"WHAT? You KNOW where we're going to be living? I don't even know that yet!" was pretty much the entirety of my response to her.
Bogota is a BIG embassy. Our Desk Officer told me that depending on how you count the heads (which other agencies one includes or doesn't), it is either the largest or in the top three in the world. Because of this, and also knowing that it's the busiest time of year for transfers as people like to move while the kids are out of school (makes sense), I haven't wanted to tug on the GSO's sleeve with questions about our housing. But it seems that the Housing Board has met, and we've been given an assignment (subject to last-minute change). It's a 3-bedroom apartment on the 4th floor with lots of restaurants and two parks nearby. She told me the address, but when I tried to run it through Google maps, I got two different locations, and it was just rooftop views anyway. Really, I don't know any more than that.
Although we can't be guaranteed our choices, when asked, we requested to live in the "planos" area of the city rather than the "altos" area. Basically - in the flats instead of the steep hills. Steep hills sound great, perhaps we'd have a great view and the neighborhoods might be a bit leafier and above the pollution. However, steep hills + grocery shopping on foot + 8600 feet altitude = coronary, so we opted for the planos instead, and this is where that apartment is. Somewhere.
For my classmates who are already feathering their nests and arranging their offices at their posts, this news my sound rather stale, but I've been here all this time wondering what it'll all be like while they've been realizing it. It's been two months since OMS training already and there are still five weeks to go. I'm comfortable and well-adjusted here in Falls Church and FSI, and stepping off the board into the deep end still feels pretty scary. I'm not sure if it's better or worse to go last? I've been able to read the success stories of my friends, but meanwhile it's been FOUR months since I've had a regular day job where I had to actually DO stuff, instead of just learn about it.
So, seeing an address, knowing that there were people meeting with the Housing Board down there in some conference room with a file with my name on it, describing my family size, considering that we have pets and noting my rank and job title and finally deciding that we're going to live at XYZ address - I guess it is just finally coming into sharper focus. It's going to happen. I've also been receiving all sorts of e-mails from my predecessor regarding the stuff I'm going to have to do, have to know, have to be responsible for - frankly, I'm kind of nervous.
I just need to remember that everyone had a first post, right?
Thanks for listening; I feel better already.