Our Packing Plan

Now that we know to where we will be moving–pending any, ahem, “current administration” hiccups–our attention has been more focused on figuring out what, and how, we will prioritize, sort, and pack our things that will or will not accompany us to post.

We still don’t know our exact departure date, but we are anticipating a late September/early October leave date. Continue reading “Our Packing Plan”


We’re Moving to the Island of Hispaniola!



Also known as Haiti! As of right now, we’re scheduled to move out there in September 2017, but all of that is subject to negotiation with the Mission. It’s a 2-year post, so we can expect to call this our home until around¬†summer of 2019.

We are very excited about our assignment to Haiti and here’s why: Continue reading “We’re Moving to the Island of Hispaniola!”

The Prelude To The Post About Our First Post

Let’s talk a little about Foreign Aid and why I think it’s important (and why I’m here).

Foreign aid and the work that USAID and its partners do directly contributes to our security at home, which is a fact that is widely accepted by both Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The way USAID has explained the national security strategy (in a simplified form) to its employees is a “3-D strategy” (bear with me here). But I’m not talking about 3 dimensional; I’m talking about the three Ds: Defense, Diplomacy, and Development, and they are each equally important. Continue reading “The Prelude To The Post About Our First Post”

Graduation Day (10/21/16)

H graduated from FS training today. Since I’m off on Fridays I was able to attend with the boy. H’s career mentor and good friend Bob joined us. He was instrumental in helping her network within the USAID community and to get her to where she is today, and he was excited to attend. In fact, when H was going through the FS hiring process, we were debating two ways we could make this next step, and had dinner with Bob and his wife and discussed our options: Continue reading “Graduation Day (10/21/16)”

How to Become a USAID Foreign Service Officer

Concept illustration of hiring the best candidate. The graphic s

As all government employees are aware, unless one is fortunate enough to fall under a “special hiring authority”, the Federal hiring process is often long, opaque, and sometimes painful. I was hired for my Federal position as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) and was fortunate enough to be hired under the special authority that makes it easier to hire RPCVs. I simply sent in my resume to a job I saw on a listserv, was interviewed a month later, and hired the following month. It isn’t so easy for Foreign Service Officers. FSO positions require much more selectivity than run-of-the-mill bureaucrat jobs. Below is a rough timeline of H’s yearlong application process–and this does not yet include additional training or even mission placement. This is just to get hired.¬†Disclaimer: This is what I remember from our conversations about the process. I’m probably leaving stuff out, but still…it’s a long, long process. Continue reading “How to Become a USAID Foreign Service Officer”