- Can handle conversations about familiar topics in an organized way.
- Can describe my present or most recent job or activity in some detail.
- Can give detailed information about my family, house and community.
- Can interview an employee.
- Feel confident that when I talk to native speakers on topics such as those above, they understand me most of the time.
- Can report the facts of what I have recently seen on TV news or in the newspaper.
- Feel I have a professional command of the langugage.
- Rarely find myself unable to finish a sentence because of linguistic limitations.
- Can defend personal opinions about social and cultural topics.
- Can speculate at length about abstract topics.
Given this definition, it is clear that I was pinning my 2+ hopes on vocab that I'd just met on the bus that morning. I have earned the score they sent me to earn and will take it on to Bogota with the hopes of returning in two years as a 3/3. (Unfortunately, that would mean taking that godfersakin' exam again, something I don't relish, but ah well...)
The exam was Thursday. The pity party commenced immediately and lasted nearly through the weekend. Tim's last visit before my shipping-out proved to be an easy distraction and by Monday, I felt I had already closed down one of my many lives (the Spanish life). The focus now is on logistics and all the details of preparing to move next week. Today is the first of my "consultation days" where I get to run around town and take care of errands, arrange pack-outs, get tickets, get the Tabbies to the vet for their travel certificates etc... These days will culminate in a giant scavenger hunt of signatures that constitutes my offical check-out procedure for both Main State and FSI. I hope to meet with one of the Desk Officers for Colombia again before heading south, just to see what type of issues will await me when I check in. Also, I need to print out the 23-page "How-to" guide that my predecessor thoughtfully made for me with directions for what I'll be doing. Unfortunately, we won't have an overlap as she left post a few weeks ago. Did you catch that it's 23 pages? Yeah, the cheat-sheet in itself is five pages. Oh boy.
It's down to the final week, and a truly bittersweet week it will be. I have seen off two more friends to Morocco and Kuwait and the reports from Morocco are already glowing. And finally some long-quiet OMS friends from my class have piped up with their tales. Everyone is doing great; everyone survived; almost everyone has already been covering the front office and has lived to tell. Some are secretly admitting to liking writing Dip Notes. I can take one of two messages from their accounts: First, everyone else is flourishing - I will too. -OR- It's time that one of us flail like a goldfish on the carpet and that someone will be me. I'll have to think about that some more.
Okay, the next update will (hopefully) contain tales of moving the Tabbies to South America with the graceful assistance of my friend and "cat coyote" and perhaps even a full description of our apartment in all its four-bathroomed glory.