Painful as the annual evaluation process is, bidding is unquestionably the most unpleasant aspect of working in our nation’s Foreign Service.
Posts tagged ‘Washington DC’
Eight and a half months in the Washington DC area seemed like an eternity considering how little time we had spent Stateside during our first two tours with the State Department. We made lofty goals of exploring the District’s green spaces, as neither of us had spent much time in the area before. S bought a couple of hiking books that were replete with enticing trails, which unfortunately we never found time to explore. We did make it out to two parks on our list, both of which proved excellent birding destinations.
We just received Munchkin’s spring progress report from his daycare. It was all Cs, with a smattering of Ds mixed in for good measure. This took us aback initially, especially since one of the things we most liked about the FSI daycare is its non-academic nature. Then we looked closer and saw that D stood for “Developing” skills and C for “Consistently” using said skills, the highest “grade” on the report.
The Cherry Blossom Festival is Washington, D.C.’s worst kept secret, drawing well over a million visitors each year. This is the first time we have been in the nation’s capital at the same time that the cherry trees blossomed. Despite our general aversion to large crowds, we decided to join the throngs of festival-goers this weekend, the peak of this year’s bloom. Here are a few of our favorite shots.
After wrapping up our travel posts, we wound up taking a bit of an extended blogging hiatus. We left off on the eve of Munchkin’s second birthday, so it makes sense to pick up the thread there. Both sets of grandparents came down to DC for a long weekend; we’ve since gotten a few nudge-nudge emails from relatives wondering why we’ve been remiss in sharing pictures of the celebration…
After hunkering down all of Saturday and watching the blizzard rage on into the night, we were excited to see the sun beaming down today. Perfect weather to play outside and enjoy the accumulation from one of the most powerful snowstorms to ever hit the East Coast.
Washington, D.C. does not know how to handle winter, as anyone who has lived in the District will readily attest. At the slightest hint of snow, public schools close, government buildings shut down, stores sell out of their stocks, and public transportation grinds to a half. With snowfall this weekend predicted to reach the highest level in a hundred years, potentially, D.C. authorities hit the panic button early. Schools closed before a single snowflake had fallen. We also got half a snow day, with FSI joining other federal agencies in dismissing all staff by noon.
About a year ago, we did a couple of posts on Munchkin’s favorite baby books. There are a handful of those early board books that still hold his interest, but by and large he has moved on to more advanced toddler literature. S’s mom had saved the books from her childhood, and we have incorporated a few of the classics S loved as a kid into Munchkin’s book collection. We also stocked up on Russian-language books before leaving Chisinau, though these have been less popular with our young, avid reader.
The pace of instruction is not the only difference between the Foreign Service French classes and our previous language learning experiences. There are many other unique aspects of the government’s language acquisition program — some advantageous, some rather amusing, and others quite frustrating.