First Post

Flag day did not disappoint. We’ve been told over and over to expect the unexpected and to avoid focusing on a few posts. I had quite a few posts labeled as high but was really focused on Africa. I heard the post announced, and then heard my name, but it took a second or two to put the two together and stand up to collect my flag and training schedule. It was not in my top 10 of expected postings as it was a late addition to the bid list.

Ottawa, Canada

It’s not as exotic as Accra, Ghana, or Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, but it will work great for a first post. Easy to get to from California. Easy to tour colleges on the East Coast with my daughter. Great food and internet access for video chats with the family. All in all, it could have been a lot worse.

After heading to the bar tonight to join my classmates (most of whom seem very happy with their posts), it’s time to start planning. It looks like I’m scheduled to start in February. I’m getting a little chilly just thinking about it.


9 thoughts on “First Post

  1. I’ve been following your writings for a little while – very good stuff. After all that, though, Ottawa seems almost… anticlimactic. Your standard of living will be quite a bit higher than most others, I would imagine, and you’ll be the only FSO without a truckload of frequent flyer miles. Congratulations and good luck.

  2. Just found your blog and am enjoying your posts. I am the spouse of a FSO candidate who just got his job offer and is awaiting his A100 class assignment.
    Our situations seem very similar and I was wondering if your wife would be interested in sharing ideas as a spouse of a 2nd career diplo. My hubby is also in his early 40’s after a successful first career, we have 2 children who will be coming with us and have been married 15 years. It would be great to talk to someone going thru the same thing under similar circumstances.
    Please have her email me if she is up for it.
    All the best and congrats on your first post.

  3. I’ve been following your blog for a few weeks now and was really curious about where you would be going. Ottawa, Canada?! Wow. Sounds cold but so close to Montreal AND Quebec. Good luck.

  4. Congratulations!
    One day you will look back on the relative luxury and ease of your first posting with nostalgia for an ‘easy’ post!

    It seems to be a perfect fit for the family needs and not a bad spot to learn the ropes of a consular office. Not far from Montreal, either! Bring on the croissants!!!

    Can’t wait to visit!
    Congratulations for realizing your dream of becoming a foreign officer, they are lucky to have you!
    xo j

  5. Congratulations!
    Ottawa may be less exotic than other posts, but given your family situation right now, I really think someone was looking out for your best interests – yours, and your family’s.
    Enjoy the luxury of the Canadian post while you learn the ropes.
    And when it gets too chilly, hop on a plane for California. Please don’t drive: I was holding my breath virtually til you got to DC.

  6. Congrats Bro:

    Doesn’t sound like your first choice, but you really got a great spot. I was in Ottawa for a conference in June. It was a 10 hour drive from here, but worth the trip. Ottawa is one of the most civilized places I’ve been – like D.C. but much more human scaled and crammed with friendly bi-lingual people. Great food at reasonable prices. If you arrive in February, you’ll be there just in time for the start of Winterlude – a major festival and party that spans much of February. According to the tour guides, you can skate much of the Rideau Canal (if it is cold enough to freeze). It will get cold, but more like Chicago than Minneapolis. The embassy is very centrally located – a short walk from Parliament Hill, downtown, Gatineau (the French side of the river. As for trips out of town, it is about 2 hours (drive)to Montreal, 4.5 hours to Toronto, and 7 hours to NYC or Boston.

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