Thursday, October 29, 2009

Worldwide Clearance

I have my Class I from MED. Still waiting for security. I hope to be on the register before February starts, but who knows!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Still in adjudications (I found out I've been in this stage since 10/2/09). Still haven't had MED look at my paperwork. Still out in the middle of nowhere. Still asking people, "And what would you like as your side item?"

At last check, the consular register was at 61. Goodbye January and February. Hello March.

I suppose that's the nature of the FS beast. Hurry up and wait.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cabin Fever

...of sorts.

I would love to hop on a plane tomorrow and go far, far away from the day-to-day that is my life. I have 39 days until I head to Sweden, but it can't come fast enough. I think I am coming to the end of my days as a waitress.

Hopefully I'll have some good news this week regarding my clearance. Who knows. What I am pretty sure of, however, is that January is out of the running. February is currently the most likely placing because of the length of the CON register at present (creeping up into the high 30s, low 40s). I can always hope that 20 people are on the DNC list, but I'm trying to be realistic.

Anyone have an extra plane ticket going...anywhere?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I inquired today about my status regarding my security clearance. I found out that I am in adjudications. I wish I knew what this really meant, other than it goes to a panel who decides whether or not to give me a Top Secret clearance.

Supposedly the process takes about a week, though it varies from person to person. Considering today is 10/13 and my TCD is 10/20, I may be one of the 1-week people. Let us hope.

One of the A-100 board's frequent contributors gave me some good advice: if your Med hasn't come through by the time you get your TS, try to have it expedited. Since Med is over a month behind schedule, I will do just that (assuming I get my clearance, of course).

My patience is wearing thin. I realize others have gone through much longer waits than I, but I don't think those people had to go back to waiting tables for a national chain in the morning.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Dream Bid List

As November creeps closer, meaning A-100 offers for January will start going out around that time, I can't help but get ahead of myself and start thinking about possible future posts. So, for those of you who care, here are my top 10 picks that I'm hoping will be on my first bid list (bound to change, I'm sure):

1. La Paz, Bolivia (20% hardship)

2. Kyiv, Ukraine (20% hardship)

3. Manila, Philippines (20% hardship)

4. Chisinau, Moldova (20% hardship)

5. Sofia, Bulgaria (20% hardship)

6. Almaty, Kazakhstan (25% hardship)

7. Mumbai, India (20% hardship)

8. Minsk, Belarus (25% hardship)

9. St. Petersburg, Russia (20% hardship)

10. Praia, Cape Verde Islands (25% hardship)

I made a table of hardships posts that are 20% and above; I ignored danger ratings. I like the idea of serving in a hardship post, and there are many perks to doing so. The pay differential; ability to pay back federal student loans at posts that are 20% and above; career boosting abilities; contributing to the unofficial "share the load" policy; better picks on the next post; and others. I'm certainly open to many other options than these, but if I had my pick, these would be at the top of the list. Obviously there are some really amazing places I'd love to go (Wellington, Chennai, Moscow, Nassau, London, etc.) but I have little chance of getting and/or their hardship differential is less than 20%, my personal cut off for the dream list.

Here's the list, in case anyone is interested!

Country City Hardship %

35% Posts

Afghanistan Kabul 35%
Equatorial Guinea Malabo 35%
Iraq Baghdad 35%
Timor-Leste Dili 35%

30% Posts

Bangladesh Dhaka 30%
Burma Rangoon 30%
Central African Republic Bangui 30%
Chad N'Djamena 30%
China Shenyang 30%
China Wuhan 30%
Cuba Havana 30%
Djibouti Djibouti City 30%
Eritrea Asmara 30%
Georgia Tbilisi 30%
Ghana Accra 30%
Guinea Conakry 30%
Laos Vientiene 30%
Liberia Monrovia 30%
Pakistan Karachi 30%
Pakistan Peshawar 30%
Papua New Guinea Port Moresby 30%
Russia Vladivostok 30%
Sierra Leone Freetown 30%
Uzbekistan Tashkent 30%
Zimbabwe Harare 30%

25% Posts

Angola Luanda 25%
Armenia Yerevan 25%
Azerbaijan Baku 25%
Belarus Minsk 25%
Burundi Bujumbura 25%
Cambodia Phnom Penh 25%
Cameroon Bujumbura 25%
Cape Verde Praia 25%
China Chengdu 25%
China Guangzhou 25%
Democratic Republic of the Congo Kinshasa 25%
Ethiopia Addis Ababa 25%
Guinea-Bissau Bissau 25%
Guyana Georgetown 25%
Haiti Port-au-Prince 25%
India Hyderabad 25%
India Kolkata 25%
Indonesia Jakarta 25%
Indonesia Surabaya 25%
Kazakhstan Almaty 25%
Kenya Nairobi 25%
Kyrgyzstan Bishkek 25%
Lebanon Beirut 25%
Madagascar Antananarivo 25%
Malawi Lilongwe 25%
Mali Bamako 25%
Mauritania Nouakchott 25%
Mongolia Ulaanbaatar 25%
Mozambique Maputo 25%
Nepal Timbuktu 25%
Niger Niamey 25%
Nigeria Abuja 25%
Nigeria Lagos 25%
Pakistan Lahore 25%
Republic of the Congo Brazzaville 25%
Russia Yekaterinburg 25%
Rwanda Kigali 25%
Sudan Khartoum 25%
Surniame Paramaribo 25%
Syria Damascus 25%
Tajikistan Dushanbe 25%
Tanzania Dar es Saalam 25%
Togo Lome 25%
Uganda Kampala 25%
Vietnam Hanoi 25%
Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City 25%

20% Posts

Albania Tirana 20%
Algeria Algiers 20%
Benin Cotonou 20%
Bolivia La Paz 20%
Bosnia-Herzegovina Sarajevo 20%
Bulgaria Sofia 20%
Burkina Faso Ougadougou 20%
Cote D'Ivoire Abidjan 20%
Fiji Suva 20%
Gabon Libreville 20%
Honduras Tegucigalpa 20%
India Mumbai 20%
Kosovo Pristina 20%
Lesotho Maseru 20%
Libya Tripoli 20%
Moldova Chisinau 20%
Pakistan Islamabad 20%
Philippines Manila 20%
Russia St. Petersburg 20%
Saudi Arabia Jeddah 20%
Saudi Arabia Riyadh 20%
Saudi Arabia Dhahran 20%
Somalia Mogadishu 20%
Sri Lanka Colombo 20%
The Gambia Banjul 20%
Turkmenistan Ashgabat 20%
Ukraine Kyiv 20%
Venezuela Caracas 20%
Yemen Sana'a 20%
Zambia Lusaka 20%

So, that's what I've been doing with my spare time. I know what worldwide availability means, but that doesn't mean I can't wish and hope.