Intro to this blog:
Andrew and I are starting this blog to document this new journey in our lives. For those of you who don't know, I will begin working at US Agency for International Development on August 2nd as a Foreign Service Officer. My complete title will be BS-11 Economist Foreign Service Officer. The below FAQ is based on the questions we have asked of current and past USAID employees, as well as the folks in the Human Resources Department at USAID.

Where are you going?
To quickly answer the questions we keep getting asked, we have no idea where we will be going. No idea what region or what hemisphere. Since I don't speak a useful language, this will not help in determining anything. I do have a little experience in Niger, but there isn't a mission in Niger, so the likeliness we will end up there is very low. Additionally, remember since this is international development work, we will not be in any highly developed countries like France or Germany. And we will not be placed in places where there are not US representatives or diplomats (eg Cuba).

Is Andrew Coming?
OF COURSE! We are really excited about taking this step together. Currently the only places Andrew would not be able to join me would be Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Sudan. However, the likelihood I will be posted in a Hazard Country first is low. Breathe mom...It's VERY LOW. Also, a posting I recently read said approval could be given for certain places in Pakistan and Iraq...Breathe Sharon..It's very low!

Do you get to choose where you go?
The short answer is no. There is a bid process, however, I have been reading blogs of late and it appears for your first posting you meet with HR and tell them your ideal placement. For us, that would be a place where Andrew would have an easier time finding a job and where the puppies can join us.

What about Elko and Menlo?
Well, we hope they are coming too. A lot of Foreign service families travel with pets (including dogs). There are some places they would not be able to join us (island nations where rabies have been eradicated for instance). Some countries to have quarantine policies. However, much of the lesser developed nations we would be traveling to have less strict rules. If you are interested in dog travel restrictions check out this link (you can choose any country from the drop down):

What about your house?
Andrew and I are planning on renting our house. Know anyone interested? :) We are currently working on pricing rental companies. We are holding on to the house because we do plan on coming back to the US in the long run and since Alexandria appears to be moving forward on the Potomac Yard Metro stop, it would be silly to sell now.

If you have more questions please post in the comment section below. Keep in mind, since I haven't exactly started yet, and am still working at DevTech, I will not know anything.

As a side note, we are both really excited!
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  1. Congratulations! How exciting! I can't wait to read how it all unfolds! Best of luck!

  2. This sounds like fun! How long is your commitment?

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  4. Amazing!
    Do you know when you head out yet?
    How long is it for??
    Do you think you'll get a chance to pick your second country or is it another - where ever they need people?
    Is Andrew thinking of looking for jobs at the embassy?
    Oh I'm so excited for you!!

  5. How exciting! What does Andrew do for a living? What kind of job will he look for?


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