Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guess what?

I got one of my top 5 bids!

That's right, I'm going to Lagos, Nigeria. And I'm going soon!

In answer to the inevitable questions, here are some of the reasons I bid high on Lagos:

1) I wanted something challenging.
2) I really wanted to be in Africa or the Middle East. Eventually I'll have to pick a 'major' and 'minor' bureau and these are the two regions (at least according to state) that I haven't lived in yet so I want to give them a fair shot before I make any long-term decisions.
3) I wanted a high differential. (For folks back home, differential is the number that indicates how hard and/or dangerous it is to live in a post. Lagos is a 25% hardship and 10% danger post. That makes it the 5th highest on our list.) I didn't care so much about the money, but I really want to have a lot of equity for second tour bidding and I certainly got my wish.
4) I didn't want to spend all winter in DC.
5) It's a consular post, I'm a consular officer.
6) Climate. I really wanted to be somewhere on a coast, preferrably with lots of sunlight and maybe some mangos or papayas.

Okay, time for a quick recap because there really isn't too much left to say.

After a morning field trip, we arrived in the auditorium, greeted friends and family and took our seats. We all started to get a bit nervous at this point. I think some of us were just realizing that we're about to spend two years in who-knows-where. We played flag-bingo, as the tradition demands, though I didn't participate since I was busy making a careful record of where everyone was sent. They started off with the very, very awesome announcement that there were no low bids assigned. Hallelujah! I seriously would have slept better for the past week if they had just announced that from the get-go.  

Anyway, almost everyone was thrilled with their assignment, or at least fine with it. The best part was how exciting it was to see all my friends get the places they had been dreaming of. The CDOs did an amazing job, especially considering how many different priorities they were trying to balance.  There were only a few people who were really upset and I hope they'll be feeling better about their posts soon. It really is amazing how it works out. Everyone wants something different. Even the place I thought was low on everyone's list got cheers and fist-pumps of its own...

As for me I was pretty sure I would get Lagos, I think I'm the only one crazy enough to bid it high. But they scared me by waiting and giving me the very last Lagos post, so for a while there I was a little concerned I was getting something completely unexpected. Then two-thirds of the way through was my turn. I am now the proud owner of a mini flag in green, white and more green, and I'm taking the weekend to celebrate before I dive into the chaos of preparing to move again.

All the best!

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