...and if you're a U.S. citizen so can you!
While this is certainly the most civically-important thing I've done lately there's been a ton going on in my life in the past month. So much so that I'm still trying to rediscover my old routine (the one where I stay at home all the time and actually have to schedule things to fill up my weekends).
First off, I've had guests, lots of guests!
I had guests from Mexico, both my parents, my aunt and a family friend, and a family I knew from Lagos. It's been great having so many familiar faces around and have someone to explore with. It's been especially nice to have my family come. I haven't seen my dad in person since last August and my mom since November and we did a ton of catching up while we roadtripped Italy. And now that I've been here a full year I'm happy to be able to show off my favorite sights and restaurants and vast knowledge of the Roman bus system. September was a great month to be here too, great weather and (slightly) smaller crowds.
With all of these visitors in town I've been traveling a lot. Down to Amalfi and Pompeii, up to Lake Como and all the way to Venice. I promise to post some pictures of those travels separately, you know, in all my copious spare time.
Then there's the work stuff - lots and lots of outreach events. Seriously, lots. And a little thing called 'bidding' where we all have to try to get ourselves jobs for the next 2-3 years. I don't know where to start with this so I'll just say it's a nervewracking and somewhat opaque process. In addition to the challenge of trying to decide what city and job from the available list meets all of your job and personal goals - everything from schools, spousal employment and pet importation rules to language training, pay and danger/hardship you also have to weigh how realistic these bids are - actually go out and actively convince the decision makers to pick you. With consular of course it's a bit simpler than in other job cones - I work directly with the Bureau of Consular Affairs for all the jobs on my list, rather than lobbying individual posts directly. But whatever the process, it's difficult to predict how the timing, job needs and personal preferences are all going to balance out. I hesitate to make any predictions at this point, particularly as I'm still adjusting my bids. Handshakes (i.e. job offers) go out at the end of the month though. Til then wish me luck! When I know more, you'll know more!