Friday, December 13, 2013 0 comments

As the Holidays are Approaching...

Както Коледа е близо...

It sure has been some time since I last posted. I think I probably have a lot more in my head than I am willing to write about or am able to remember to write. I finished graduate school May of this year. It was a worthwhile ride but I am happy that I am working again. Right after graduation from Columbia SIPA, Henry and I got married. The wedding was lovely and married life since then has been swell. Henry hasn't changed and this is good. I am happy to know I married the person I have grown to know for the past 9 years.
We did our honeymoon in Hawai'i which I have ALWAYS wanted to visit. Absolutely loved it and cannot wait to go back! We did a Samoan lu'au, we took  a helicopter tour of Oahu, and drove along the coast in a smart car. I saw some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen and had one of those moments where I honestly could not believe this is my life. All the hard work has paid off and I can enjoy the fruits of my labor! Then toward the end of our stay I got really sick and couldn't keep food down. Of course, everyone thought I was pregnant...hahaha. Alas, this was not the case! I was diagnosed with Gilbert's Syndrome. It's not deadly, but it does affect your quality of life until you are able to manage it. Like anything, this took time to do. I can now say it's about 80% under control. :)

I started work as an FSO in July. Orientation was insightful but more importantly, a time for me to get to know my incoming classmates/fellow officers. My particular class - the 173rd is very tight knit. All 74 of us are really like a family and I feel so blessed to have met these individuals. Everyone is so talented and has an interesting story. All of us speak at least two languages and I would say 75% of us came in with three (English being one of them). At the end of training I was assigned to Bulgaria! We are so excited and I feel very lucky to have gotten a country in a region that I have never visited (aside from my two week stint in Denmark for COP15, but that's Western Europe). Henry and I hope to do some traveling while there. I have two friends serving in Berlin who we want to visit and we hope to make a few weekend trips to Istanbul.

Bulgarian class is going well. I am supposed to reach a 2/2 in reading and speaking by mid April. I basically have to be able to interview people for visas IN Bulgarian by the time I depart to Post. I have 8 months to do this! Honestly, our FSO's are amazing. How is it that time and time again we meet these ludicrous expectations? I am not sure, but I can say that possibly motivation, our A-type personality and ambition has something to do with it. Some weeks are really tough but overall, it's been a worthwhile ride. Sometimes I worry ALL of this was a dream. I never thought while I was growing up in the South Bronx in a household where English was not spoken and with parents who only made it to the 5th grade that I would attend Columbia, let alone become a diplomat.

I guess we shall see what else is in store for me... :)

Happy holidays my dear friends!

Весела Коледа скъпи приятели!