This is us.  The one showing lots of shoulder (in her Chengdu, China Marine Ball ball gown!) is the EFM who writes this blog. The one wearing a tux (James) is the employee who moves her (and their two sons) around all over the world. The red link, below, is how you can get in touch with me...

The time in Chengdu, China

Chengdu: city of fabulous food and beautiful Buddhist monasteries!
Yes, Beijing's Forbidden City (pictured, above) is really pretty and all, but I like Chengdu much better than Beijing!

In Our Same Boat (with State)

  • Beyond the Cornfields
    Brand-new State Department family in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Love their two little girls (she just recently had a baby while being posted in Dhaka), horticulture, traveling and adventure!
  • Email From The Embassy
    State Department family formerly in Beijing, China, and recently posted to Amman, Jordan. A trailing spouse, she's also a writer, and frequently publishes articles with major news sources. A very experienced State family, this new post is something like overseas post number six or seven for them.
  • Just US
    A beautiful family of seven - they have arrived at their new post: Jerusalem! They just finished off an unaccompanied tour to Iraq and are very much looking forward to sightseeing around the middle east.
  • Our Life
    State Department family on their second post...Tijuana, Mexico. It's their first overseas assignment and they have two little boys. They love Tijuana so far and post pictures frequently! They also get to enjoy the best of both worlds for they can sneak over the border into San Diego when they want to!
  • The Dinoia Family
    State Department family formerly in California, now in DC for a DC tour. Next, the husband will do a one year unaccompanied tour. A very experienced State family (formerly in Iceland and Caracas) with a blog that has been around quite a while and has great archives. Jen has a sweet heart and a lot to give!
  • The Perlman Update
    State Department family formerly in Chennai, India, who then did a year-long unaccompanied tour in Iraq. They are now on a DC tour and after that will do another unaccompanied tour (Afghanistan). She totally tells it like it is and doesn't sugar-coat what life is really like. Witty, snarky, funny and down-to-earth. Look elsewhere if you want fake. Read if you want REAL.
  • Where in the World Am I?
    State Department family formerly in Bujumbura, Burundi and now in Hyderabad, India. They just had their first baby this summer - a beautiful little girl- (there's a separate blog about this) and she also eats gluten-free (with a separate blog, also).
One of the most intriguing things about Chengdu is that it is a seamless blend of ancient and modern... all together, side by side.

Can't Live Without (non-State)

  • Crass-Pollination: An ER blog
    The best ER nurse blog EVER!
  • Doctor Grumpy in the House
    The best doctor blog EVER!
  • In Which...
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of seven. Her darling daughters are, goshdarnit, probably too young to be hoped for as my future daughters-in-law.
  • The Crib Chick
    My IRL friend, a stay-at-home, homeschooling Mama of five. Hopefully two (Any two! I'm not picky!) of which are my future daughters-in-law.
  • the underwear drawer
    An anesthesiologist who is possibly the most talented & entertaining writer ever. I've read her blog ever since she started medical school. No, don't know her in real life. Wish I did.
  • The Bloggess
    This blog is both hysterically funny and hilariously irreverent. I actually let my 17 year old son read it (who loves it as much as I do!), but wouldn't even CONSIDER letting my 12 year old son read it. Which is about all the description it needs!
The grounds of Chengdu monasteries can be very, very peaceful...even though they are smack dab in the heart of a city of millions of people.


Yes, there are Starbucks in Chengdu! All over the place, in fact. So much so, Starbucks even crafted mugs for Chengdu stores!
Texan bluebonnets. Because I learned during our very first posting (Houston) that there's nothing prettier in the spring than the meadows of Texas.
Blog powered by Typepad

« I Would NEVER Do Such a Thing! | Main | Turns Out: I Haven't *Completely Destroyed* My Husband's Career!! »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


That is so exciting! I can't wait to hear more about it. What are you going to do when you grow up?

Nomads By Nature

Go Get'm Tiger!

Carla Runs The World

Why not sign up for the next FSO test? (At least here in Manila, it can be done locally.) What's the worst that can happen, aside from keeping you at your status quo?

And as for getting hired without language, my husband doesn't speak a word outside of English (ok, fair enough, he knows how to say thank you in a few languages, and even order a beer in Portuguese, but that doesn't count for points), and he got hired fine. So yeah, you got the smarts? Take the test (and now you prob WOULD pass the Chinese anyway, so yay!)

A Daring Adventure

Hi, Carla,

I already did pass Chinese. I passed it with a 2/1+, which was higher than the target score for the FSI class - a 2/1. My Chinese score is good for five years. The 2 in speaking (the first score) is enough to get me points during the FSO hiring process, were I to wish to take the exam. I would have no need to re-pass Chinese as I have already passed it.

The reason for me not to take the FSO exam is, quite frankly, that I have no desire right now to be an FSO. Perhaps that may change in the future, but that is how I feel right now. I'm sorry if my post wasn't clear.


Have fun!!


Congrats on going back to school, good luck to you. In terms of your clearance, I have been through this and my advice is to stay on the local HR people -- they will not make you a priority unless you force them to do so. It is very easy to get lost in the shuffle and even if you decide that you don't really want the Consular job after all, no clearance means you can never have it. It took me almost a solid year to get my clearance and it turns out it was because people were simply not doing their jobs. It should have been just a couple of months, weeks actually and it was painfully longer. In this particular scenario, waiting and seeing is guaranteed to yield almost nothing. Good luck!

Heather Dray

Really really really REALLY proud of you! You've had a heckuva haul working on, well, EVERYTHING, and here you go jumping into something new. I KNOW you'll do awesome with school. You've got my full support, not that you need it :-), and I'm here if you need an ear to listen.

If you're still considering the FSO gig or EFM position, keep pushing for the clearance. The only reason I got mine so fast is that I had one already with the military (who knew my Reserves status could be so helpful?). Otherwise, I'd probably be in same boat as you. I know it's seriously frustrating, but I also know you can do anything you put your mind to.

And, as a final 'world of wisdom' (haha), remember you can always change your mind about what you want to be when you grow up. Really. Anytime.

Lots and lots of support from Cairo! XOXOXOXOXO Heather


good for you! So you aren't going to tell you what you are going to study? Enjoy!


You sound good. . . really. . .

I think you'll enjoy being back in school without the insane-Chinese-pressure you had at FSI. (It's going to be a walk in the park compared to FSI! Well, unless you're studying Chinese again. . . Please tell me you aren't!)


And throwing my guess out there. . . I think you're taking prereqs to be a PA!


And just think, in school you *might* actually be treated as a real, live, human being who has feelings, intelligent thoughts, and common sense! AND you can probably wear any shoes you want ;)
This is wonderful, I'm super happy for you...and a little jealous.


Very cool!! I think you'll enjoy taking the classes better knowing you're taking control of your future as opposed to just letting the Department decide what you can do.


That is awesome!! What are you going to study this time around?

The comments to this entry are closed.

James loves me. And our sons. And his job. But not having his picture taken. In 2011 he finished up over a year and half of training, and in the fall of 2011 we got to our first overseas post - Chengdu, China!
Mao says hi! Because Chengdu is one of the only cities in China with a Mao statue.
Flowers are like friends. Each one is unique. Each one is beautiful. They brighten up everything around them. And you can never have too many. 

Become a Fan

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, y'all! Talk about the ultimate in good luck! This kinda party only comes around once every twelve years!
free counters
Colorful! (Inside a Chengdu ancient Buddhist monastery.)
Have I mentioned that I absolutely adore taking pictures? Here are some that I've taken recently:
A Daring Adventure's items Go to A Daring Adventure's photostream