A ha!  See, you thought I would never return, and yet HERE I AM!  A miracle to be sure.

So, I thought I would write about my latest fascination.  I have decided to take the Foreign Services Officer test.  Wow!  You say.  And then you say, Huh.  What is a Foreign Service Officer?

Well, my friend, a foreign service officer are all those men and women that we lovingly call diplomats, who serve at embassies around the world.  They help you with your visa problems.  They look out for American economic interest abroad.  They manage operations.  They are engaged in political processes of the country they are in.  They help spread the word about how wonderful the US is, and what we are up to.  And they help to inform the American government about the issues in the country they are stationed in.  They are assigned to posts all over the world, typically for two years at a time, with housing and other benefits provided for.

But wait!  Before you can join this illustrious force, you must go through quite a process.  There are many steps along the way before you get accepted.  About 18,000 start the journey each year, and only about  400 make it out alive.  And by alive, of course, I mean get put on the roles to be hired.  But then, not all are hired, so there you go!

It all begins with the Foreign Services Officer Test (FSOT), which is basically a Trivia Pursuit meets the SATs.  It is pretty intense.  Asking everything from questions on treaties, to American culture, to psychology, statistics, and management practices.  So, essentially you have to know EVERYTHING.  Additionally, there is also a part on grammar (pick the best choice for this paragraph), as well as essay questions, and a biographical section (how often, when you go out with your friends, are you the one to make the decision of where to go?). 

So, that is where I begin.  I have requested a long line of books from the library, currently brushing up on economics (oh boy!) and world geography (I actually can point to where Turkmenistan is on a map, and can now tell you that the Central American countries in order from N to S are Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama).

It's kinda sick, but I think this is fun.  Of course, I always liked playing Trivial Pursuit.  Except for the football questions, that I would always just answer with "Refrigerator Perry".  And sometimes, I actually got it right.

Sigh.  Let's just hope the Foreign Service doesn't expect me to know football.  Or else I am screwed.

07/18/2009 11:10

You vicious little vixen, you. Sounds fun!

Adventures in Wonderland
07/18/2009 11:12

Are you going to come and visit me in Thailand? Or Uruguay? Or perhaps Nigeria?

Hm, I wonder if people CAN visit you... Or are you kept in a little cage, where they feed you rabbit pellets...

07/20/2009 11:21

I *LOVE* it. I can't think of a more perfect journey for you.


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