Those two words can inspire both jubilation and horror. They can mean getting your dream post in Rio de Janiero, or putting on a happy face when you find out your husband is going to Dirka-dirka-stan for two years and he's taking you with him (for the record, Rio is only one of about 25 current dream posts, and I would absolutely LOVE to go to The Stan Any Stan with hubby).
Or at least that's what everyone told us.
Every single one of our posts on our list was an exciting possibility, some were amazing places that we would willingly pay money vacation in, and none of them would have induced tears, by a long shot. To illustrate the difficulty of deciding just how to rank our list: our number one pick was Ukraine, and number two was Nepal. Yeah, quite the choices.
The ceremony was scheduled for the afternoon. While Johnny was chewing his pen, tapping his toes, and bouncing in his chair along with his other highly unfocused classmates, I spent the morning on the National Mall with his mom, her friend, his sister, and her fiance and his son, looking at fossils and creative taxidermy for a few hours. The gorgeous sunny day and a little family time took my mind off the afternoon's impending events quite nicely.
After the museum I Metroed it back to the apartment where I met up with another wife and we headed over to the auditorium to meet up with the fam again.
For the roughly 60 new hires in John's class there were about 75 guests there to cheer them on and the anticipation in the room was palpable -- not a dry palm to be found.
The three speakers praised the quality and the caliber of the class, told a couple poignant stories, and made a few jokes about receiving our sentences, and then almost faster than we were ready for, the first flag was projected up on the screen, the first name was read and everyone was clapping.
As my memory recalls, John was like the 10th person to get called and only the second OMS in his group of 10 to get called, so we really didn't have any guessing or mental tracking to do. Boom. There was his flag and that was definitely his name. And then I found myself cheering and fist pumping fumbling with my camera while his sister was expertly snapping away photos beside me and I was watching his face to try to see if he was genuinely stoked or just pretending to be genuinely stoked. It took me about a second to tell he was for real, and then I felt this huge flood of relief and joy to be going to.....
Guatemala City, Guatemala!!!
That's right folks! Central America!
Which also means we'll be in DC all summer learning Spanish.
We'll be in an amazing country with culture, mountains, beaches, cheap food, awesome weather, wonderful people, and we're at a spot that's both close to the US, and could be a good hub for flights to Central and South America. And they speak Spanish there which means I'll be fluent very very soon after working at it my whole life.
After the ceremony we all headed down to Cafe Asia for some happy hour drinks and snacks so we could high five and chatter about how excited we were to finally have our fates decided.
While there weren't any tears, there were definitely one or two shocked specialists who needed some pep talks, luckily one of the perks of being in this particular crowd was that there were one or two people who had already lived at those hardship posts and had plenty of great things to say about them.