Next comes submitting the bid and lobbying for the position. Lobbying actually had more to do with who you know than any thing else. Networking it is a must! David gets to do the lobbying since he is the employee. And then you wait. And wait. And wait some more.
Oh, did I mention that while this is going on David is up for a promotion and if it comes through we will have redo our bids. So much fun. There is a more concise explanation of the bidding process over at Life After Jerusalem and another over at Email from the Embassy. I am not going to try to explain all the intricacies of bidding when others have already done a fine job of it.
Here is our short list. This is the list of places to which we submitted bids.
Dar Es Salaam Tanzania
Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
You may be thinking what happened to Paris? Well lots of things. First housing in Paris is apartments. We have 4 kids and are in an apartment now. It sucks. Kids need space to run and play with out worrying about bothering the people downstairs so Paris will have to wait. Second there are lots of people bidding on Paris and only one is getting the job. Then there is this notion of differentials. A differential is extra pay to offset the difficulties of living someplace difficult. All of the posts we bid on this cycle have a high differential. In addition there is this thing called fair share bidding in which you have to bid on a high differential post once in every 8 years and you have to continue to bid until you have served at a high differential post which resets your clock for another 8 years. Just the foreign service's way of making sure that people bid on places like Yaounde and Bujumbura. Confused yet? Don't worry me too. And finally we are ready for a change, a new adventure, something different. Africa would be a great adventure!