I just got an update from one of our most eclectic graduates, Spencer Maguire…. Spencer has served in the Marines in Iraq, worked in politics in D.C., and is now stationed in Africa with the U.S. Department of State. Below is an email I recently received, as well as some amazing pics.
Getting into the Foreign Service is one of those dreams that I always had but didn't pursue for a long time. Though I am a fairly confident person, I didn't think in a million years I'd get in. I am fortunate that at some point I decided to give the FS test a try. It worked out for me and now I have what has to be one of the best jobs in the world.
I am the General Services Officer in the "Mountain Kingdom" of Lesotho in Southern Africa, so my job is to run many of the support elements of the embassy that allow the real diplomacy to take place. That position puts me in charge of housing, which means I have to negotiate and sign leases for all of our houses, and I am the safety and health officer, so I am often required to draft polices, memos, and reports. I have been pleasantly surprised by how often I find that my RWU legal training has helped me sort through challenging situations.
The Capitol Maseru itself has been a soft landing for us. It is a small post with a bunch of young families. My commute on a heavy traffic day is about 5 minutes so I don't have to waste so much of my time as I did in Washington. The walk to the golf course takes only a few minutes, and 9 holes only cost $7. This being Africa, even the coldest winter days warm up enough in the late morning to take in 9 holes. And the hiking here in the mountains is phenomenal. All in all, I can say that being an FSO is a pretty great experience. I feel extremely fortunate.
Although I have another year here in Lesotho, I just received our onward assignment. The family and I are all headed to Moscow in 2014, after a year of Russian language immersion. We are all pretty psyched.
Josephine Chasing Peacocks
Ted Taming the Mighty Lions