Saturday, October 30, 2010

Holy Cow, I Passed! (And Pictures)

Ok, so remember me talking about the Foreign Service Officer Test a couple of weeks ago?  I didn't prepare for it, I ran out of time, I knew I didn't pass, etc.  Well I got the results on Wednesday.  I passed!  I was incredibly surprised, and don't really know what to think about it.  The minimum score for the multiple choice was 154, and I had a 157.  The essay portion required a 6 out of 12, and I received an 8.  Wow!  There are a lot of really smart people who don't pass on the first try, so I have no idea how I squeaked by.

Now I'm sure you're thinking "what does this mean?"  I'll tell you.  Not very much.  :)  The selection process for FSO's is pretty rigorous.  From this point, I have to submit some written essay questions.  Then my application, test scores, and written responses are reviewed by a panel to decide if I'm qualified enough to become an officer.  If I pass that step, then I'm invited to an Oral Analysis which includes personal interviews, another individual written essay (I think), and a timed team project in Washington DC.  Sarah's process was much different, as she went in as a Specialist, not a Generalist.

I still haven't explained what it actually means for Sarah and I, have I...  If I was hired as an FSO, Sarah and I would be considered a tandem couple.  We would bid for different locations as a team, and it reduces the likelihood that we would be separated if she was assigned to a dangerous post.  I would have my own career, and would be guaranteed a job wherever we went.  Great!  The down side is that being a tandem couple limits the amount of posts of which we are eligible, so there's less of a choice.  Although Sarah and I haven't decided for sure if this is the path that we want to take or not, just passing the first hurdle is exciting!  Being an FSO would open up possibilities for Sarah not to work in the future, or simply help us save more money to be in a good position to quit in a few years, if that's what we decide to do.

So after that exciting news, I have more pictures!  Here are a few of the apartment that I've been promising.  Although it's easy to get jealous of other peoples' housing here, our apartment is great! 

Front Outside

 Taken in Front of Our Garage

Family Room

Master Bedroom

  Dining Room
It looks kind of creepy with all the headless people sitting at the chairs, right? :)  We don't have enough hangers for our clothes until UAB comes, so we're making due with what we have.  It's not quite so lonely in this big apartment when the table's always full.

 View of the Avocado Tree Outside Our Bedroom Window

 Me With 3 Duct Taped Brooms Fishing for Avocados :)


Some of the Apartments in Our Area

View of the Most Famous Building in Brasilia:  The Metropolitan Cathedral

Inside the Cathedral

Newcomers Lunch at the Ambassador's Residence

Some of Our New Friends

View of the JK Bridge from the Ambassador's Residence

Getting Ready to Play Tennis at the Ambassador's Residence

Terrible Form!  My Tennis Coach Would Not Be Impressed.

Ted and I (losing)

Sarah and Mona



  1. congratulations! That's great news.
    And thanks for the housing pics- love them! Your place is gorgeous!

  2. Our place is really very nice, but you should see some of the other residences! We're spoiled; the biggest thing I have to complain about is that we don't have a balcony with a grill like most of the other apartments. :) And the houses are gorgeous! There's one benefit of having children!

    Our apartment was actually in the first bloco built in Brasilia, so we are in one of the oldest buildings in the area.

  3. Awesome pictures!

  4. Congrats Adam, on passing the test! (You must take after your mother -- brilliant! :D ) You have a rough life! Enjoy it -- but not too much.......we want to you to want to come back home eventually!
    Love, mom

  5. Wow, it looks amazing! I can't wait to come out and check out Brazil. Congrats on passing your test, and hopefully it leads you toward a great career if thats the path you two want to pursue. The PS3 is on the way, that way I can play some games with you online and be able to talk to you a little more. :) I can't wait to hear from you again.

  6. Thanks guys! I'll come home someday, I promise. :) Brian, I'm having trouble connecting the Xbox to the internet, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the ps3 working either... I'll try!

  7. You. are. spoiled. ha! :) Miss you both!! Can't wait to come visit in 2012! Did I tell you our plan is to honeymoon there! Well to Rio de Janeiro but I guess we could come visit you for awhile while we're there... ;)

  8. CONGRATS on passing the test - that's awesome!! Good luck on figuring out what you guys wanna do - whatever you decide will be wonderful I'm sure! The apartment looks great! Take care! =)

  9. Hi Adam and Sarah,

    Your photos bring back some awesome memories of being in South America. I love the one of you two in front of the garage. Not a great setting, but you look fabulous! Everyone knows Brazilians are beauuuuutiful! What is your address?

    Love, April

  10. you need to post some new updates, and tell me if you got the playstation to work and what your name is on it.