After 5.5 weeks, I'm finally starting to wish I had something to do every day. Only 1.5 weeks left before I regret this statement.
"Here at the State Department, I am grateful every day for the work of our LGBT employees who are serving the United States as Foreign Service Officers and Civil Servants here and around the world. It wasn't long ago that these men and women would not have been able to serve openly, but today they can because it has gotten better. And it will get better for you." - HRC.
Secretary Clinton, you are a true ally to our community. I'm proud to work for you and for our country.
UPDATE: I had the privilege of attending an interview with Secretary Clinton the following day, October 20, 2010, and she wore purple in honor of Spirit Day. I'm feelin the love.
That's right, folks. Cyn and I pooled our collective good karma and landed the tropical paradise of: the Switzerland of Central America; the Hawaii of Latin America surfing; the country with NO MILITARY for the last 62 years known as COSTA-FREAKIN-RICA (Por favor tome ningún delito, Ticos).
No, that's true, we don't speak the Spanish. And yes, it's also true that Cynthia took 3 years of Spanish and still can't ask "where can we get some fish tacos for dinner?" And yes, it's also true that all I can say is "how do you want your eggs?", "bacon or sausage?", and, "is everything ok?" (Is it obvious I was a waitress in a prior career iteration?) Buuuuut none of that matters because we begin full-time Spanish training on November 1st for 6 months, at which time we will be presumably fluent. We depart around the end of June 2011 and couldn't possibly be more excited for our first post.
"But Eva, what will you do?" Hmmmm let me think...surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, horseback riding, museums, salsa dancing, cooking classes, bird watching, other animal/amphibian/reptile/flying creature watching, hiking, rafting, reading, hosting myriads of guests (hopefully!), and maybe, MAYBE get a job.
You guessed right. It's better not to ask.
Flag day was, in a word, intense. Even the most solid of species was shaken to the core, taking deep breaths of calming oxygen to get through the ceremony. It was FUN too though to root for the other students and dream of inviting ourselves to visit them in their new homes. Even more fun was happy hour (with free food) followed by dancing like silly, crazy people at another bar.
A glorious and rejuvenating weekend. So much so that I just popped out of bed at 630am feeling refreshed and happy (I don't have a job, people, wth).
Cyn was released from A-100 early on Thursday so we were finally able to make that walk to Georgetown that we've been talking about. It was raining but warm enough for a t-shirt so we went anyway with plans to see a movie. We were sidetracked by H&M and Urban Outfitters. Way too much money and several bags later, we decided to skip the flick and get some Vietnamese food instead. Delish.
Friday was our lunchtime/brown bag GLIFFA meeting at FSI. My bff spouse and I decided to go all out and bring lunch. He made chilaquiles, black beans and rice and I brought a rum cake. Need I say more? I think we will be invited to the next meeting. The meeting was highly informative; we talked about visas, diplomatic immunity, and the realities of being a same-sex couple in the foreign service (thanks, Michelle Schohn!!). My fellow culinarian and I spent the rest of the afternoon on a guided tour by our lovely Smithie friend through sculpture gardens, the mall and the American History museum. We appreciated the enormous Star-Spangled Banner, the gowns of the first ladies and Julia Child's kitchen. Later we met the spouses, ate some unbelievable Thai food and found a strange gay bar where were probably the only ladies who have ever braved to step foot inside.
Saturday we attended the March on Washington hosted by One Nation Working Together (organized by our incredible friend!). We started with breakfast at this Chinese-owned waffle house that doubled as a convenient store. It was scrumptious and the owner and his son were pretty hilarious. They had a sign up stating that the bathroom was out of order, but when asked about it the son just said 'nah, it works. that's just in case it ever stops working'. Maybe they just really hate cleaning them. Finding the restroom proved even more difficult as one has to weave through bar stools in the pitch black basement. A formidable opponent maybe, but not after 4 cups of coffee.
The march/rally was exciting, provocative (in the encouraging, motivating sense) and inspired hope. We even saw Jesse Jackson! Afterward, we nearly walked our legs off to see all the monuments, stroll around the Potamac River, and finally to the most amazing Greek/Turkish/Mediterranean Tapas food I've ever eaten. Baba Ganoush, Hummus, roasted red pepper dish (name?), spanakopita and puffed, fresh pita bread. Dessert was also ah-ma-zing with olive oil ice cream, Turkish delight with baklava ice cream, espresso chocolate cake with cardamom and ginger whip cream, and Greek yogurt (with lime zest!) with apricots.
Yesterday we found a dollar store in Falls Church and were able to get almost everything on our list intended for Target for a fraction of the price. We also spotted a Mexican/Salvadoran drive-through that looked just dumpy enough to possibly be an authentic, magnificent eatery. Birthday dinner followed for a fellow FSO at the always ostentatious Cheesecake Factory. We rounded out the weekend last night with Jennifer's Body and A Home at the End of the World.
Oh, and I also made this totally virgoed-out list of every possible country we could be assigned to accompanied by it's flag in preparation for Flag Day this Friday!