Notice to Friends: I will be in Bogota, Colombia for 2 years and you all have a standing invitation to visit.
February 2010: Counting my Benedictions from the Non-sentient Universe
I depart from Washington DC for my first two year tour with the Foreign Service on Thursday, February 18th. After ten months of trainings, language and rotations I leave to spin my trade in South America. I will be posted in the US Embassy working on projects for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Post has been responsive and helpful regarding my transition and I feel I'll be in good hands upon arrival. Furthermore, I am excited about my upcoming work and living arrangement. I am confident it will offer wonderful challenges and wonderful colleagues.
Foreign Service Institute & State Department Rotation
I completed my language training on September 30th, passing out with a "3/3", which translates into "professional working proficiency". It is nice to feel comfortable speaking in another language. There is always more to learn, and my ear could certainly be improved, but having no hesitation in communicating is gratifying. I've learned bits and pieces of the language since sophomore year of high school, so to finally be passable feels like an achievement. I also have nothing but great things to say about the language institute. Being paid to learn, having no other responsibilities other than learning, and being in a classroom with three other students and a language professional is quite a fine way to learn. I hope I return to FSI again some day.
After FSI I spent a month in the Office of Investment Affairs at State. I familiarized myself with some of the work that State does. I got to work on Bilateral Invesment Treaties, Investment Climate Reports, Overseas Private Investment Corps (OPIC) proposals, and guidelines for responsible international investment in agriculture.
I went to Shenandoah to witness the autumn foliage. It did not disappoint. Beautiful colors of yellow, red, orange and brown mantled the mountains. I would recommend it to any East Coast dweller. The most fabulous was a sunlit glade of yellow, translucent, leaf-clad trees. (Click the thumbnail to view the slideshow.)
Snowstorm in DC
I have finally lived somewhere that snows properly. The UK does, too, but not while I was there. The city shut down on a Saturday due to the snowfall. Even McDonalds was closed. I sought sustenance at the only place (truly, only) I found open, China Wonder. The next day I went with some friends around the NW area to explore the aftermath. The slideshow is the that day after. (Click image to view.)
Darrouzet-Nardi Christmas 2009
Christmas is always an awesome time of year! This year the family was beatified by our most recent member, Jaclyn. Sadly, the snows left me three days late, so we only had about five days with everyone. Still, it was quite pleasant. (Click image to view.)
Here's a slideshow of my family's WoW exploits. It's long overdue, but check our the dauntless troll guild. (Click image to view.)
Back in the World of Adventures
Upon receiving an offer from USAID I wrote on this homepage that I was back in the world of adventures. It was true, but after completing training, language, and just meeting so many mint colleagues (including those in my DLI 5 USAID class who I hope will be with me in the agency for years to come), and now preparing to leave for Colombia I am truly feeling prepared to reenter that world. Colombia sounds spectacular. I will be sure to post photos of the cities altitudinal beauty. Counting my benedictions from the non-sentient universe...
Homepage for Chris Darrouzet-Nardi
The journaling on this site reflect solely my own views and opinions.
Updated February 4, 2010