Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's Official!

Finally got my hot little hands on some diplomatic passports. All 5 of them! At some point I might actually write up the saga, but for now, I'm just thrilled to have them in my possession. Now we just have to make plane reservations, households goods shipment arrangements, pet shipment arrangements, apply to the international school...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Island Hopping

Sorry for the length of time between posts. I have been consumed with frantic Tagalog training (realized my test is less than 8 weeks away, and I feel like I am no where near where I need to be to pass the test!) and taking up all kinds of new activities. L & I got Groupons for a Pilates studio in McLean and have attended a couple of sessions (don't think I will continue after the Groupon sessions are up...I wasn't that impressed with the studio). Husband and I are also hitting the ice in hopes of keeping up with our kids. Our instructor has been letting me sneak in on her lunchtime adult class (she's awesome!), and I surprised myself with how well I skate considering I haven't been on the ice since I was a kid. Husband and I also joined a gym (courtesy of Living Social this time). I'm not crazy about gyms in general (I prefer working out when no one is watching), but I don't have any of my equipment here and I was really, really missing my heavy weights. Then, C's volleyball season has really kicked into high gear. She has a clinic on Sat from 1-3, practice scrimmages on Sun from 8-11, practice on Wed from 6-8, Thus we have to help the club set up for the Capitol Classic from 5-9, Fri she has practice at the Washington Convention Center from 6-9, then Sat-Mon is the tournament with us parents helping out with tear down after the tournament has ended. I'm tired just typing all of that out!

But, the most exciting news of all is that we got word on where our second assignment will be. My plan to be a beach bumming FSO is in high gear 'cause we are headed to freaking HONG KONG, bitches! Going from Manila to HKG is like being sent to Hawaii to New York (if NYC had beaches and was made up of almost 70% green spaces. Plus, escalators, people! HKG is the land of the pedestrian commute!). We are so freaking excited!!! This is an amazing post for everyone in the family. Husband will be able to easily find a job (either at the Consulate or on the local economy - thank you weird HKG non-mainland status!), English abounds so it will be easy for the family to get around, there is no quarantine period for animals (!!!), and the international schools are some of the best in the world. Plus, the HKG airport is amazing! You can fly anywhere in SE Asia (likely anywhere in the world), and it is super clean and efficient. The only drawback (for me anyway) is that Mandarin is not the common language, so it will be less of an immersion for me. I still get to come back to FSI for six months between tours to brush up on my Mandarin (which I desperately wanted since it will have been 3+ years since I used the language by the time I get there), and there are pockets of Mandarin speakers within HKG - I will just have to search them out. And I can always venture across the bridge for immersion trips to keep my Mandarin up to par.

So what does all of this mean? Well, we now know where we'll be for the next 5 years, which is more stability than I've ever had in my adult life, and it means we can really start making some plans for the future. And now that we know we'll be in the same part of the world for the foreseeable future (HKG is only 2-3 hours from Manila!) we can take our time and plan out trips to visit all the places we want to see. And, it means that all of you lovely people can take your time with your own trips since we won't be leaving the region any time soon! :)