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My turn: July A-100 Offer Accepted

It’s with mixed emotions that I report on some big news for us: I’ve accepted an offer to join the July 2011 A-100 Class for the US Foreign Service!

The prevailing emotion is excitement (or I wouldn’t have accepted the offer, obviously!). I mean, jumping up and down excitement. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time. And now we’re going to be a tandem couple, which is something my husband and I have hoped for since we started this whole process.

The next emotion is relief – with how the budget situation looked this spring, I was afraid I might not get an offer at all!

But for all the excitement of joining State, there are the tough realities of what this means in the short-term. It means being separated from my husband for at least a year until we can figure out how to link up our assignments. It means leaving Nicaragua and the friends I’ve made the last 10 months. It means leaving a job at USAID that I really enjoy. And did I mention that I’ll be living apart from my husband?! Ugh.

This has been our plan for a while, so in a sense I’ve already mentally prepared myself for some of this. But now we’re getting into the practical things of who gets what, and what do I take back and what stays in Nicaragua.  After 7 years of intermingling our stuff, it feels strange to separate it all. Most of it stays in Nicaragua because our house here is about 5 times as big as any apartment I’ll have in DC!

Separation aside, I’m so excited to join the State Department. After being in Nicaragua and seeing an Embassy up close, I know this is what I want to do at this point in my life. I know that the tandem couple thing is not for everyone and it comes with its own set of challenges. The way I see it is that ANY spouse arrangement in the Foreign Service (tandem couple, finding a job in the Embassy, finding independent work, staying home with a family) has its benefits and drawbacks. And it’s up to each person/couple to figure out which set of benefits and drawbacks they want to deal with and bet on. For now, our money is on the tandem couple option.

For more info on this photo from 1937 click here.

 Only 2 months until A-100 starts. I better get moving!

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22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congrats! Best of luck!

    May 18, 2011
  2. Nomads By Nature #

    Congratulations! What an exciting new step for you both!

    May 18, 2011
  3. How exciting — congrats! Despite the short-term difficulties, my money is on this being for the best move for you guys too. Enjoy A-100!

    May 19, 2011
  4. eve #

    excellent! This is a very exciting announcement. I’ll miss all of your gorgeous pictures of Nicaragua but I look forward to little window of DC, provided you’re not too busy with A-100 training. Good luck with the logistics, it’ll be here in a snap!

    May 19, 2011
  5. Rebecca #

    SO PROUD OF YOU! You are amazing. I’m so happy this worked out! The year apart does not sound fun – at all – but you will be great and you’re going back to a city you know, and you can do long weekends in Miami, right?!

    Congrats again – you deserve this BIG TIME.

    And please do me a favor and get a bike exactly like this? I feel like I could see L really getting into it….

    May 19, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Yes, I think we’re going to try to meet in Miami when we can. I won’t have as much vacation time, but he has a ton, plus all of the Nica holidays on top of the US holidays. So we’ll see what we can do. I think L is quite thrilled to have an excuse to visit DC more often! Can’t get Taylor down in Managua.

      May 20, 2011
  6. stmemory #

    Thanks guys!

    May 19, 2011
  7. The Red Menace #

    Congratulations!!!!! I guess we won’t have to wait until my October arrival in Managua to meet after all. You’ve got my email, so PLEASE give me a shout if there’s anything I can do to help out before you get here.

    May 19, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Will do! I look forward to meeting up in DC sometime!

      May 20, 2011
  8. congrats ma! I am not a bit surprised you got the job, you are one of the brightest most insightful people i know.

    May 19, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Thanks Lauren! I’m really excited.

      May 20, 2011
  9. Jenny #

    Congrats…excited for you!

    May 19, 2011
  10. Congrats! I changed the tag on your blog listing. And welcome to the wonderful world of tandemhood…it does have its challenges (we’re dealing with some of them now) but I personally think it is better than the alternatives!

    May 19, 2011
    • stmemory #

      If changing my tag in the Life After Jerusalem blog list isn’t official, I don’t know what is! Thanks!

      May 20, 2011
  11. Hey congratulations! You’re at least the second soon-to-be-tandem-coupler I know (to the extent I know you) in the July class. Buena suerte!

    May 20, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Another tandem in July! Excellent! Gracias!

      May 20, 2011
  12. bfiles #

    wow!! how exciting, congratulations!
    so I take it there is no position in Nica waiting for you? I hope it works out the way you want it to, I’m sure there are lots of diff scenarios. In the meantime, enjoy your A100 prep!

    May 21, 2011
  13. Wonderful news! Congrats!

    June 3, 2011
  14. Just discovered your blog and so happy that we will be classmates in just over a month. Very much looking forward to meeting you and learning about the tandem experience. My wife is in the pipeline.

    June 14, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Hi there Diplomatic Dad. Thanks for leaving a note. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been blog-stalking you a bit. I look forward to meeting you and your family. Good luck to your wife. I can’t believe we begin in one month!

      June 14, 2011
      • I don’t think a little blog stalking is all that bad for people in our situation 🙂 I’ve already spent way too much time fishing for bidding strategies. Anyway, hope all goes well for you before A-100. I just posted a new blog about all the changes afoot.

        June 15, 2011
    • stmemory #

      Also – I’m looking forward to meeting a fellow Coloradan.

      June 14, 2011

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