We in the foreign service spend a lot of time preparing to bid on our next post. We have no idea what will be on the list when it comes out, but since Husband and I have so many limitations (two jobs in the same place, a high school, not Armpit Asia because I won't go back there) I feel like it is my job to find the hidden gems out there that might be great for our family which nobody else will want, even though we won't bid again for more than a year. In case you haven't noticed, I am a planner which is really, really hard to be when you have no idea where you'll be in two years.
I have already had the good fortune to have lived in Vienna, Austria AND Oslo, Norway, and I have visited Europe many times. I love Europe. I feel completely at home there. I love the food, I love the culture, I love the scenery, I love the languages (I speak three of them!) but I don't want to bid on there--in part because to get to Europe, you have to go to Afghanistan and I am not doing that and also, because I have already lived there. I want something new and different. So my actual dream post is Kampala, Uganda. My friend Sadie is there now and I have yet to read anything from her on either facebook or her awesome blog (so, so jealous of her safari trip) that could convince me it is not as wonderful as I imagine it. But because we have never managed to actually bid on Kampala (the two jobs in the same place problem), my new dream post is (drumroll, please) Dakar, Senegal! This picture is why I want to go there. True, there are no mountain gorillas and there are malarial mosquitos, but who wouldn't want to live near this?
I am determined to live in the tropics someday, and French speaking Africa could totally be our ticket. Plus, wouldn't it be fun to tell people we were moving to Senegal? They would all ask where is that. And I would reply Africa! I had a blast telling people at the store that I didn't want to be on their mailing list because I was moving to China! They all said wow, I guess not. But Senegal even sounds pretty, so it must be a nice place to live. (No, Husband, I actually did check it out and the high school is supposed to be great, high differential, and easy to get in and out of.) People tell me I would get tired of the good weather and heat (um, I'm from Texas, remember! It's not exactly cold down there.) and lack of seasons. And every time I hear that I want to say let me try! I have no idea if I could hack it or not, but I think I could. Honestly. I think I could also live on an island and not get island fever. As long as I could get books to read, I could make a go of it anywhere, I think. If I lived in Senegal, I would spend a lot of time on the beach reading under an umbrella. A girl can dream, can't she?
This teacher in California is having a worse day than me.
She was fired from her job because she has a violent ex-husband. Yes, you read that right--ex-husband. She was a victim of domestic violence, and like many violent relationships, the bullying, intimidation, and violence didn't end when she left him. One day, he actually showed up at her school where her children also attended and because she was worried and needed help, she told the school officials who locked down the school and called the police. That was the right thing to do, but their next move was wrong, wrong, wrong. You see, they decided that even though her ex-husband went to jail, it was still too risky to keep her and her children around, so they fired her and expelled the children. Yep, cowards--the lot of them! So thank you, Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, for reminding me to be grateful that I will never ever have to send my children to your awful excuse of a school. If you cannot stand up to domestic violence and support that brave teacher, then I have little hope for your ability to teach children right from wrong let alone left from right. I hope you lose a lot of students because of your horrible actions. And to the teacher, you are a brave woman and I hope another school district snaps you up lickity split.