Feeling much better since the last post. Thanks, all for your words of support and kindness. (Way to go, Mom, figuring out the “comment thing”!) I’ve spent some time exploring our neighborhood and acclimating to my new nebulous schedule. I found a great little yarn/knitting shop just around the corner from us. The lady who owns it is a wealth of information, though I am having a hard time believing there is only ONE fabric store in all of the district. I haven’t even asked about leather yet. I may need to sign up for the ZIP car sooner than I thought in order to better access the surrounding metro area. I’m trying to look at these little challenges as preparation for when we are in Honduras/Zimbabwe/Rwanda/Burma/Bangladesh/Korea, where things are unfamiliar and my alleged “necessities” are nonexistent.
I think it may be the little things, the little familiar things that I miss the most (so far). As fragmented and broken as Detroit’s community was/is, I certainly had a place in it. Whether it was knowing exactly where to go for exactly what I was looking for or simply being greeted with a smile and nod of recognition at my local bakery, cheese shop or urban farm.
It’s easy to get swallowed up in all of the positive aspects of foreign service life, but as many of you pointed out last week, it’s unrealistic and foolish to focus only on those. I think my admittedly narrow definition of “belonging to a community” is about to undergo a profound expansion.
Saturday morning we spent at the Overseas Briefing Center (OBC) at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI). This is basically a research library with tons of information related to each and every post. Since receiving the bid list last week (a list of all open positions), we have been scouring the internet/intranet for anything that might be useful to inform our decisions. Tomorrow is a job fair where we’re given the opportunity to speak with people who’ve served at the various posts on which we are “bidding”. It’s very exciting and again I am reminded of what a blessing it is that I am not hard-wired to worry. We’ll find out where we’re headed on Monday, June 7th, “flag day”. Oddly I fear one of my biggest obstacles may be in learning to live with government issued furniture…pathetic, I know.