We have officially been in D.C. for one week. In that time, S has started A-100 training, I have transitioned to my company's D.C. office for work, E has started and adjusted to a new daycare, and...oh yeah--we got the BID LIST!
S received the bid list on Wednesday, and since that time we have been poring over it and obsessing over every possibility. For those of you unfamiliar with the bid list, it is a list of every available post/job that each new Foreign Service Officer must bid either high, medium or low. Basically, this is the list that determines the next 2-3 years of our lives. So, of course we inevitably developed a bidding strategy.
I feel like everyone does this, and each person's/family's strategy is different. For us, we narrowed it down to three key things--the pets have to be able to come with us (with little to no quarantine at post once we arrive), reliable Internet is a must if I am going to continue to work at my current job, and S wants to work within his cone-Management. If there is a post meeting all three of those criteria, it goes to the top. Anything that is unaccompanied or doesn't allow pets automatically goes to the bottom of the list, and everything else goes in as a medium bid. We have tweaked the bidding strategy together over the last few days, and we think we're happy with our top choices. Of course, those top choices can definitely change during the next two weeks before we turn in the final list, but probably not very much.
Overall, I believe we are very happy with our top choices. They are all over the map, and even though some of them are places anyone would dream of living, there are quite a few that will definitely make some family members scratch their heads. (I'm lookin' at you, mom).
However! The more research we do on each city, the happier and more content we become. Of course we can live in this obscure island nation city with pristine beaches and amazing weather. And that tiny town WAY up north that some people probably can't even pronounce? We'd be happy there too. After we get the proper coats and boots and hats, of course.
S and I are excited at the prospects, and while little E may be too small to understand what exactly is going on, I think he's excited too. But I'm sure we'll all be on pins and needles until Flag Day.