That’s right, Togo! Yesterday was Flag Day, when they present us with our first assignments. I was very nervous, because while there were very few places I’d really rather not go, I had no idea where I was going or when. Moreover, they gave us an absurdly long break between our last event and flag day, so we were all milling around for an hour just WAITING.
I should explain Flag Day. On Flag Day, we all sit in an auditorium, with our families behind us. The director of orientation and a few others talk a little bit, and make it absolutely clear that we are to make as much noise as we like. (Which was good, because there was a LOT of cheering and clapping!) Then, one by one, they shine up a country’s flag on the screen. We all shout out the country (if we can), and then they announce the exact position and who got it.
I had a few specific countries I really wanted. I got very excited at one point, because for the Haiti position I heard my first name, followed my classmate’s last name. Guyana also came up, and went.
But then, Togo came up. Togo, of nice beaches, good housing, high differential, easy pet rules, and good teaching opportunities for the Teacher. And, I heard my name!
(Later, I found that a different classmate had a similar experience to me. We have the same formal first name, and Togo was the one his wife had flat vetoed. He ended up getting one of his top choices too.)
After that, everything became a bit of a blur. I did, however, look at my training schedule. I’ll be here in DC until at August, mostly learning French. This scares me a bit. I was a Chinese major back in college, and I’ve also taken Russian and done pretty well. However, French has intimidated me for awhile. But, if I’m getting paid to study…it can’t be all bad, right?