You may have noticed that it’s been a while since we last mentioned Andy’s quest to join the Foreign Service himself. That’s because he forbade me from doing so. Despite his success with the FSWE and QEP phases of the arduous application process, Andy was sure he wouldn’t pass the Oral Assessment. He didn’t want to have to admit to you when he failed, so he was hoping you’d just forget about the whole thing.
But guess what! My gag order has finally been lifted, because… Andy’s OA was today, and HE PASSED!
Not only did he pass, but he passed with a really really really good score! He did better than I did, in fact. But I’ll try not to hold that against him; after all, it was probably my brilliant coaching that gave him that extra .1 point. =)
The fact that he passed the exam, and with a score high enough to pretty much guarantee a job offer, is obviously a very good thing, but how exactly it will shape our future remains unclear.
Last we heard, there won’t be a job in Cotonou at the right time for Andy to start his FSO career there. So maybe he’ll wait a few years and try to join the Foreign Service in time for our second post. (For those thinking: “but he only has 18 months on the register!” Well, State gives spouses of FSOs two years of frozen time in addition to those 18 months.) Waiting would probably make the most sense for us personally, but we worry that State won’t be hiring as many new people in two years; maybe they won’t be hiring at all. So, another option: Andy could try to join asap and take a job somewhere not too far from Benin, like in Togo or Ghana. Living apart for two years is obviously not ideal, but if it’s the only way we can ensure Andy a spot in the Foreign Service, it might be worth it.
We’re hoping to have a better idea of logistics after meeting with my Career Development Officer, which we’ll try to do next week. For now, though, we’re just going to focus on Andy’s success.
So, off I go to Domino’s. I’ve been instructed to have a celebratory pizza awaiting his arrival home.
P.S. Did I mention, !!!!!!!!!! ?