Flag Day

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So the big day finally arrived, Flag Day!  I gave my list of preferences to my Career Development Officer (CDO) and reminded her that she held my fate in her hands like a tiny bird…she laughed and assured me that whatever happened, I was going to have an adventure.

So we showed up on Tuesday, filed into the wood lobby of the Foreign Service Institute, and waited for the news.

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I sat patiently (or not so patiently) as our speaker randomly announced the nation’s flag, the name of the position, and then who would be assigned there.  I heard as my top posts were announced, as well as my bottom ones, and realized that my #1 hadn’t been announced yet.  As luck would have it, fate smiled upon me that day and I literally did a Tiger Woods fist pump (I wish I was kidding) as it was announced that I would be heading to Sarajevo!!

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So, if you’re like most of my friends and family, when you hear the word Sarajevo, your head immediately goes to the early 90’s, when the city endured the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare.  In fact, if you Google Sarajevo, this is the first photo that will pop up:

File:Evstafiev-sarajevo-building-burns.jpg

However, modern Sarajevo has become quite different in the 20 years that followed their terrible war, and the city is recovering and trying to look forward.  From winding roads full of Cafes, to Olympic skiing, to cultural events and museums, the city is ever-improving.  There are currently protests against the local government taking place by Bosnians who are tired of low employment rates and wages, but thus far I am optimistic that it would be a great tour, and I’ll be perfectly safe.  In fact, please visit me!!!  Bosnia has tons of stuff to do, and if you look at the location on a map, you’ll realize that I am VERY close to the following places:

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Montenegro

Budapest, Hungary

Istanbul, Turkey

Transylvania, Romania (Yes this is Dracula’s castle…)

These are just to name a few!  There are so many other places that will be a short drive or plane ride away, and I’m so excited to explore a part of the world that I hadn’t yet dreamed of.  I’ll follow up with some specifics on Sarajevo at a later date (including some of the hardships I’ll face) but for now, I’m thrilled with my future post, and look forward to my arrival in late July 2014!

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