Goodbye, Virginia (Part II)

On Saturday, May 16, my husband I had a relaxing morning and afternoon.  We went from our “hotel” (otherwise known as DOS temporary corporate housing at Oakwood Falls Church) to my favorite nail salon in Arlington. I’ve been getting my nails done there by the same person since 2006. She has always done a beautiful…

Packout!

On Monday, May 11 and Tuesday, May 12 our apartment was packed out in preparation for my transfer to Uzbekistan. Currently, almost all of my belongings (except what can fit into two carry-on bags and two suitcases) are en route to Tashkent either by air or sea.

Drive 

Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear  And I can’t help but ask myself how much I’ll let the fear take the wheel and steer It’s driven me before, and it seems to have a vague haunting mass appeal  Lately I’m beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel

One Year in Blogging

One year ago today, I wrote my first post on this blog, called Something Blog-Worthy…Maybe. Now, 52 weeks and 40 blog posts later, I am amazed to report that Collecting Postcards has received a staggering 10,957 page visits from readers in 97 different countries! I counted the list of countries twice, just because I could hardly believe…

ConGen (PC 530): Week 3 in Review

As of today, I’m halfway finished with my six week consular course. It is kind of a crazy thought. All that’s standing between me and the day I depart for Uzbekistan is the remaining three weeks of consular tradecraft, and an additional two weeks comprised of security training, administrative time, my packout and consultations. No…

ConGen (PC 530): Weeks 1 and 2 in Review

On Monday, March 23, one business day after passing my Russian final assessment, I began basic consular training, otherwise known as ConGen. The first two weeks have been dedicated to non-immigrant visas. This means visas for non-U.S. citizens to come here for the purposes of business, tourism or study. After six and a half months of Russian language…

Travel Orders

This past Monday marked the start of ConGen, the six week training that prepares consular officers for overseas work in embassies or consulates with visas, passports, and American Citizen Services. While I was in my class today completing a module on non-immigrant visas, my first travel orders cable came through! It was in response to…

The Verdict

Yesterday at noon I underwent my final speaking and reading assessment for Russian, otherwise known as the end of training test (EOT). I did manage to pass and receive the 2/2 I need to go to my assignment this May at the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. This is how it happened.

Murderboard

Today was my last official full day in LRU 100, better known as the 28-week Russian introductory + basic course. In order to help me prepare for my final assessment, my instructor and last remaining classmate BB put me through a kind of “murderboard”. For nearly two hours they peppered me with questions on democracy,…

The Warmth

The other day I was listening to some old albums on shuffle and what began to play but one of my favorite songs, “The Warmth”. It was released as a single sixteen years ago by Incubus, one of my all-time favorite California bands.  

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