Shortly after my last post, I went to New York City for three days with the FSI Economic Studies Course. We visited the NYMEX, the NY Federal Reserve Bank, the U.S. Mission to the UN, a credit rating agency, and a couple of banks. It was a really interesting trip and I learned a lot from all of our appointments. It’s one thing to learn about the theory and to look at data and another thing to talk with people who are actually making sovereign risk assessments, analyzing foreign economies for the Fed, etc.
I’d actually never been to New York City before, so it was also nice to finally see some of the sites there during our free time in the evenings. One of our meetings was close to the World Trade Center memorial, so some of us stopped by there on our way back to the hotel at the end of the day. I also met up with one of my friends from A-100 who has since left the Foreign Service and it was reallllllly good to catch up with her. She left the Foreign Service for a variety of reasons and it seems like things have worked out well for her and it’s really good to see her happy there.
We’re now in to the Country Data Analysis section of the course which has been interesting. Essentially, we’re taking a lot of what we’ve learned and applying it to analyze economies of the countries we’ve been assigned. This first part is in groups of four and then we’ll each do an individual capstone project. Most people do something related to their onward assignment, but it’s not necessarily required. I suspect I’ll do something related to Germany but need to see what issues I might want to try to dig in to.
I’ve also continued to organize some of the administrative stuff that comes with transferring, like getting myself enrolled in German language training after the Econ Course and a required leadership class, too. I’ve gotten my housing survey from the Frankfurt and am filling that out. I’m pondering what I want to do about a car there, meaning whether to ship my current car, buy something else here and ship that, buy something else there, etc. I’ve also started to make some basic lists of what I’ll need to take on the plane with me, in my suitcases, in my air freight, etc. The lists will evolve, I’m sure, but it’s helpful to start sketching things out a bit. I also need to get my diplomatic passport renewed so that I have the new one back in plenty of time to apply for my German visa.
I also ended up having to find an urgent care place to take care of an illness that popped up in January. I hadn’t had to see a doctor here in the DC area before, so I didn’t really have a relationship with a primary care provider here. I searched a few Foreign Service groups, and found a recommendation, took myself to the urgent care place and got it taken care of. Fortunately, it turned out to be something easily treatable, but I wasn’t sure what it would be going in.
So, that’s what’s new here. Hope all’s well in the blogosphere!