the winner is… not us.

Sorry I am posting this so late. I’ve been reeling from the news of our inevitable future and haven’t had the energy to write about Flag Day.

Flag Day was on Friday and I’m very thankful that my brother was able to join us for the big event.  We arrived and sat in the back with another mom. I had my bid list and highlighter in hand. The ceremony started and with each city called I highlighted it off the list. As we hit the mid way point I was feeling pretty good. We still had  a lot of our high bids left unhighlighted. Then the list grew smaller and smaller until the only city left on our high list was Prague with only a few mediums left that I was really excited about. That had me anticipating that we would for sure be going somewhere that we really wanted.  The presenter raised his little Cameroon flag and said, “Yaounde, Cameroon….” I got ready to highlight if off my list when I heard the next thing he said, “Patrick…” I dropped my highlighter and the paper mid highlight  and put my head between my knees. I thought I was going to pass out. I was able to get it together fast enough to look up and see Patrick wave his little flag at me as he walked back to his seat with a “I can’t believe this!” face.  I told him I loved him and forced a smile.  I sent out a few text messages and sat in silance as I thought about the next two years of our lives in Cameroon.

Here is what I know now:

  1. We will be leaving this spring. Meaning Aydan will have her first birthday there. Which crushes me.
  2. Patrick doesn’t need much more French training and our CDO told us that is why they posted us there. “I know you didn’t want to go to Africa. But we need your French in Cameroon.”
  3. I’ve read some post reports and they are all positive. They say it is safe and a family friendly city.  Which makes me very happy and excited.
  4. Patrick will qualify for the student loan repayment program.
  5. Cameroon is beautiful with beaches, rainforests, mountains, grasslands, and deserts.
  6. We’ll probably have a nice big house or duplex, perfect for visitors. Which leads us to #7.
  7. Tickets from Seattle are $1700.
  8. The few people I’ve talked with who have lived there really do love it.
  9. We looked into flying to see our friends who are posted to Madagascar and the flight is $5,600 for one person.  We’d leave Yaounde, head to Paris, then to London, then to Johanasburg, then finally to Madagascar.  There might be more direct routes but none that we could find this morning.
  10. Since this is a hardship post we will recieve priority bidding for our second tour.

 I really am getting excited about going.  At first I was worried because I knew nothing about Cameroon.  It would have been very hard had we come home and read the post reports and found that everyone hated living there.  But since that is not the case, I’m ready to start preparing our family for the big move.

 So begains our journy.

10 responses to “the winner is… not us.

  1. Nick and I are so excited for your little family! What an adventure! We think about you guys all the time! Give Aydan a hug for us and tell her Mia says “hello” (in her best babble ever). 🙂 XOXO

  2. I have been wondering about your post. I’m so sorry it was not what you were hoping for, but I have heard people really love it there and I hope you will have a wonderful tour. I think someone was posting about it on FSparent or livelines recently and I ended up reading all about it on talesmag- good reports, like you say. Hope it ends up being great for your family.

  3. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with your blog friends, kimmy. 🙂 this is such a huge step forward for you guys. i’m sure the unknown is much more daunting than the exciting life that is right ahead of you. you’re a very lucky girl, don’t forget that. this is so cool & i’m sure this post will change your life. how cool is that? i love you. you’re so brave & such a great friend. xoxo

  4. I posted about you and your journey tonight and I do hope that is alright – I wish you the best on this journey and hope that you know, you are not alone and the adventure is truly worth it! Please know you have joined a family and we are all here cheering you on!!

  5. My kids were really, really wanting the posts in Asia and Southeast Asia. So they were –shocked– when we were assigned Nairobi. (Yes, we bid it high. Our bidding strategy was “Dear Lord, please not DC!”) I don’t know anyone in Cameroon, but I nearly every FS family I meet has loved their Africa posts and wants to go back.

  6. Lucky for you, you got to bid somehow. We do not have this bid list, FSOs get assigned at random as they put it. Our posting to Hong Kong will be for 6 years unless we apply (and get approval) for a cross-posting on our 3rd year.

    Two years should be a breeze. You just might find yourself spending your first year on filling your house with the right furnishings. There is a reason why you were given Cameroon, and that is what you’re about to discover.

    All the best!

  7. I can totally relate to your feelings on flag day. My husband’s post was one of the last ones called in the entire class. I kept mentally checking off all of our high bids until Brussels was the only one left. Then they said “Monterrey, Mexico” and called my husbands name. We were both shocked and extremely disappointed. We forgot we had even bid on that post. We quickly found out later why we were posted there. I grew to love Mexico (until we were evacuated out for security reasons). I truly hope you grow to love your post! I could totally go for a beach right now. 😉

  8. It was certainly interesting for me to read that post. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read more on this blog soon. BTW, rather nice design this site has, but don’t you think design should be changed once in a few months?

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  9. Hi, this is Dina from, I just wanted to stick my head in the door. We are on our second FS tour in Moscow and had our first tour in Niamey, Niger, West Africa. I was scared to go, shocked at our assignment, and ended up LOVING Niamey. I wish you a wonderful tour in Cameroon! Your baby is gorgeous!

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