My mother-in-law said she's been missing my frequent blog entries. I told her that I've been very happy to not have much to blog about since my blogging had been so depressing about Malachi. Since I now have a ton to blog about, I guess I better start catching up.
1st up, Manila:
I have a pen pal (or...email pal, I guess) in Jerusalem. She told me that Manila sounded like a great place, to which I responded that it's perfect. And it really is perfect for us, and I told her I'd blog about it so y'all can understand how perfect it is.
When John and I started to think very seriously about where to go next we came up with what was most important about out next post. I told him that the most important thing is good schools for Malachi. We didn't have to say good medical care because we knew that MED wouldn't let us go anywhere that didn't have good medical care. So...good schools was at the top of the list. Then after that for me was the ability to work and afford house help. Those go hand in hand so they tie for #2. Under ability to work there was a sub category for large mission so that there would be work available for me.
When we got our bid list John immediately widdled it down to what worked for timing and medical clearance, and then widdled it down more to where we desired to go. Some people were bidding on jobs (e.g. they wanted to do anything but consular work), John was bidding on place - he bid on a variety of work in places that he (we) really wanted to live. For instance, he bid on four different jobs in Manila. Only two were consular, one was economic and one was public diplomacy. Our #1 bid was a refugee job in Bangkok - I mean...who doesn't want to live in Bangkok?! Numbers 2-5 were the four Manila positions that we bid on. Everyone we talked to was pretty confident we'd get Manila, but just in case we didn't, I didn't get my hopes up.
The day the onward assignments came out I was at work and John was on vacation in Ecuador and I had no way to contact him and tell him that assignments were out. I had friends telling me where they were going and I wasn't getting anything about our next post. I was quite frustrated (as you know if you're friends with me on facebook).
FINALLY, John and our friend who's posted in Quito went to the Embassy to check their assignments. Manila it is!! I was so excited that I yelled. No one at work came to see if I was ok, or what was going on, and I found that a bit weird, but I was so...so happy. And here's why...
Manila (in case you don't know) is the capital of The Philippines. The Philippines is a country made up of 7,107 islands in Southeast Asia. Asia...where labor is cheap! Live-in nanny? No problem! Working at the Embassy should be pretty easy with a Mission of over 300 Direct Hire Americans (FSO's, etc). And our number one priority seems to be satisfied as well. The school over there has gotten good reviews from people we know and people we don't know. Malachi was already cleared for Manila when all of this stuff started, so we knew it would be cleared again.
For a while we won't have anything to do. We still have over a year left in Costa Rica, and we probably have about six or seven months of enjoying Costa Rica before we need to worry about Manila, aside from the school. I've read that we need to get moving on the school pretty early.
I have an acquaintance who's currently in Manila, you can find her blog here. I follow another woman's blog who is in transition from Post to Post and their family just left Manila. You can find her blog here.
I think that's enough for now. Next up...Seizures & Medicine