Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Swimming In Alphabet Soup!

True Confession: I started reading a lot of foreign service blogs when S began this journey two years ago. 

I went on a quest to discover everything there was to know about this lifestyle, so I Googled and read and Googled some more.  I found the blogs to be a wonderful resource and they helped paint a picture of the wonderful, and not so wonderful, aspects of the foreign service life.  The more I read though, the more one thing became abundantly clear: there are an unbelievable amount of acronyms used by the State Department.  Some were explained in the blogs and articles I came across; some weren't.  But they were always there, lurking about, hell bent on luring my curious little brain on a mission to discover their meaning.  Well after today, I can say that while I don't quite know them all, I know a lot more than I used to.

Today I attended a spouse orientation at FSI designed to help spouses and partners prepare for this giant move/adventure for the first time.  I sat in a room with about 25 other spouses as we discussed our upcoming posts with excitement and trepidation, and voiced concerns about what we still didn't quite understand.  Like, when do we find out our exact date of departure?  How do we find out about our housing?  Do we get a consumables allowance?  And how, oh how, are we going to get our pets there in one piece?

It was during the explanations to these questions that the acronyms were used, and thus, the meanings revealed. 

Now I can safely say that this EFM knows what to pack in her HHE vs. UAB, and how to get in touch with TM or TMM so we can ship our POV to post.  And I know to contact the CLO before going if I have any questions about anything specific, or I can hop over to the OBC if I feel like it. 

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Those were the easy ones.  My mind is still swimming in a sea of alphabet soup as I pore over the notes I took today and try to make a list of all that needs to get done.  I'm grateful that we as spouses were invited to such an informative session because it certainly cleared up a lot of questions, acronyms and all. 

Now, off to read the RPR on Adana before bed!


  1. Congrats on Turkey! I had no idea where Adana was so I looked it up. Funny how crap my geography is. I was thinking, hey, Russia's not too far from Turkey. Trouble is that Yekaterinburg is in BFE, Russia, so it's far from EVERYTHING! But if we're ever in Turkey, I'll let you know ;) Good luck!

  2. Thanks! Don't worry, I didn't know where it was until it showed up on our bid list. Before that my Turkish geography was limited to Istanbul, that's it, lol. Good luck with your move and stay warm! And you're always welcome to visit if you get sick of the cold! :)