Stories from the Field: Recollections of the Foreign Service

The Foreign Service is more than a career, it’s a lifestyle. At a minimum, you are consistently moving to a new post every few years, interacting with different cultures from your own on the daily, and learning (sometimes quite painstakingly) that there are indeed many ways to interpret an event or action.

The lifestyle has many opportunities for great stories. It can be as small as the first time you drank freshly pressed sugar cane juice (with ginger of course) or as momentous as witnessing your first child born in a country different from your own. It can be as happy as observing the first democratic election process in a country after decades of oppressive rule, or as devastating as being targeted for attack by angry nationals. We all have experiences that stay with us, the memories we carry throughout our life.

As a Foreign Service Officer, spouse, or dependent, the memories you take with you will be as diverse as the people, food, and cultures you interact with.

For many, to have the opportunity for such eclectic moments in life is exactly the reason for joining the Foreign Service in the first place. The potential for great and unique anecdotes and perspectives is massive, and the reason I am starting a “Stories from the Field” series.

Instead of wondering what some of these experiences are like, “Stories from the Field” will be an opportunity to bring current or former FSOs, their spouses, or their dependents to share with the pFS community an experience they’ve had due to the Foreign Service.

These Stories from the Field: Recollections of the Foreign Service will introduce us to different aspects of the Foreign Service life, and not just the career side but family members as well.

I hope to turn this series into a weekly contribution once the ball gets rolling on submissions. Until the time that that is possible, I will submit stories as they become available. I’ll also throw in some of my own experiences overseas with the FS.

If you are a current or former FSO, FSS, spouse, dependent or national employee, and would like to make a contribution, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.

If you are an aspiring FSO, leave a comment below on what types of stories you would like to read about.

I am very excited for what this series has to offer, and I hope you are too.

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