Well, first things first: No, we didn't get paneled to an onward assignment at the last panel. Trust me, if we had I would have come on and said something. I would have trumpeted it to the skies.
So, yeah - we're still bidding. The next panel is July 12th. We shall see.
There's not much to say past that. Probably because at this point, now that we've been bidding for almost eleven months, James and I are basically
Our email is partially broken. And by "partially broken," I mean that James and I can GET email, but cannot SEND email. It's whacked. But, you know - we're in China, so you never know with tech stuff. It goes all screwy all the time.
In order to send email, James or I have to drag our iPads to a certain small corner of our apartment and hope that we can steal our neighbor's wifi because for WHATEVER REASON our email will send on our neighbor's wifi but not on ours.
But, you see, our neighbor's wifi is often down (again - this is China), and so pretty much since I'm also sick for the third time this month and in bed whining, I don't have the strength to haul my friggin iPad across the apartment and huddle in a corner hoping that my neighbor's wifi will let me send an email.
So pretty much I'm not emailing anyone. Sorry! I will email again sometime soon, I promise, when the Chinese Tech Powers That Be allow me to or I feel well enough to steal my neighbor's wifi. Thank you for thinking of me.
School ended here a couple of weeks ago, which sent my younger son (Zachary) into a world of hell. You see, he LOVES school because he's all social and loves seeing his friends, and let me just tell you that almost all of his friends are Oil Kids or Computer Kids or Car Kids which means that they were all on planes bound for somewhere far away from here literally the day school got out. Because non-State folks can come and go at will with their travel allowances, you see, and don't have to ask a bureaucracy in order to spend their travel allotments.
So, yeah - the younger one is lonely and bored and hating life here at post with nothing to do now that school is out. And, to make matters worse, some of our best friends at post (and our ONLY friends at post with sons my Zachary's age) departed post for good yesterday (bound for a new assignment), which was just too horrible for words. We've known these people for the last three years (we knew them during Chinese language training at FSI and then the whole time we were here) and then, one day, they're just GONE.
Meanwhile, my older son (Matthew) is now in full possession of a high school diploma and is starting a summer job at the Consulate tomorrow morning. Which is a good thing. His "clearance" - which is so basic that it pretty much consists of someone checking to make sure that he's not listed on America's Most Wanted - took longer than it should have (the cobbler's family goes barefoot) or he would have started working earlier than this. But beggars can't be choosers, I suppose.
And speaking of beggars, it's odd. I mean, I am his mother and so I am THRILLED that he gets this wonderful opportunity to have a summer job at the Consulate. THRILLED. What mother wouldn't be? I am thrilled that State has a summer work program for high school/college kids of employees and I am grateful that Matthew has this opportunity. Of course I am, DUH.
But when he and I were at the Consulate the other day turning in paperwork for his position, I couldn't help feeling like the whole situation is just... odd. How desperately did I want a job there? And how impossible was it for me to get one? But even with my bachelor's degree in Poly Sci and with my 2/1+ in Mandarin Chinese (higher than is needed for Consular officers) and my ConGen and everything, I couldn't get a job at the Consulate to save my life. But my son, who only has a high school diploma, gets a job for the summer easy schmeezy with no questions asked, no application process, nada. Again, it's wonderful that my son gets to work - I'm extremely grateful - and if I'd had a choice I totally would have asked that he have a job instead of me and not the other way around (big time) - but still. The EFM job mess is indeed a mess, and I can't help but think that if State put its mind to it, it could make things better in that area for "trailing spouses."
Anyway, what else?
Last night there was a Consulate party/function, and while I couldn't go (see: I'm sick, above. For the third time this month. But I did send cupcakes), James and Zachary went. And when Zachary came home he proudly told me all about how James mega won a trivia contest at the party. Evidently the trivia contest covered 80's music, and James knows 80's music better than anyone I've ever met, and so evidently James mopped the place up with those trivia questions, or at least he did according to proud Zachary.
James even came home with an award.