Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Serious Case of Foreign Service Senioritis

There's a common phenomenon among foreign service officers serving overseas. It's akin to what you might remember from high school - the senioritis that sets in the last few weeks before graduation. You know that each day brings you closer to your departure. And in the case of the foreign service, each day brings you closer to your next assignment.

For me, knowing that I have less than 4 months left in Bucharest has made it difficult to get really invested in my work. That's not to say that I'm slacking, it's just hard to get motivated. I've already started preparing for my next assignment in Baghdad. After reading Iraq-related cables and studying the Arabic alphabet in my spare time, visa interviews just don't hold much excitement. Maybe the NATO Summit that will take place in Bucharest in April will spice things up a bit.

Another contributing factor is the harsh winter we're having in Bucharest. I've never been overly impressed with Bucharest in the first place, but the cold weather and snow just adds to the general boredom I feel. My only salvation is that I joined a gym that's only a 5 minute walk from my apartment, but even that can require a great deal of motivation to bundle up and walk out the door.

So, even though I still have nearly 4 months left here, I'm already looking forward to getting back to the States. Of course I'm excited to go home to California in May for home leave, but I'm surprised at how excited I am to go back to D.C. I haven't quite figured out why. Maybe because many of my A100 friends are starting to trickle back to D.C. and it will be fun to hang out with them again (after 2 years of being scattered around the world). Maybe it's because life is a lot more "normal" and simple when I'm in training.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Hey Heather - I did not know you had a blog. I totally have the same condition as you. I just am caring less and less about another silly Peruvian visa applicant. Not that I am mean, but just distracted. See you in DC in four months...