The bid list is out!! Woo hoo!! That’s how excited I felt before I saw it. My favorite quote regarding bidding comes from Digger over at Life After Jerusalem. She once said…

For those of you still here, bidding is awful. I know when you think about it from outside the Foreign Service, it probably sounds cool. Wow, you get a list of all of these cool places to choose from. The world is your oyster. It is true that you get a list. It is also true there are *some* cool places on there. There are far more “oh hell no” places on there.

Although I still love bidding, I completely agreed with her this time around. This is our second time bidding as an entry-level specialist and our last time being “directed.” Our first list that landed us in Belize had 19 posts, 14 of which we were willing to go to. Our current list has 46…only 20 of them are remotely appealing. So the odds have not improved. And a surprising amount of them have been repeated, so the fresh-new list I was hoping for wasn’t quite there.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some AMAZING posts on this list, and I would cry tears of joy if we were to get anything that we ranked “high.” But considering how we fared last time priority-wise, I no longer have any illusions. I know technically we still got one of our “medium” posts…it just happened to be the one that we moved from low to medium to create a more evenly-balanced list. And this time we should have a bit of bidding “equity” since Belize has a decent hardship differential. Hopefully we won’t actually end up in Beirut or Haiti…or one of the half dozen places that are also on the Forbes list of dirtiest cities in the world. Granted the article is from 2008, but the photos are highly illustrative.

And, of course, if you’ve been reading this blog up to this point, you’re probably wondering what I’m complaining about?! We’ve made great friends, had fun visitors and jaguar encounters at the zoo; we have cool Mayan ruins; we’ve been doing lots of scuba diving; there’re palm trees and pina coladas and ceviche galore. And I’m sure I will look back fondly on all of those things after we’ve moved on (and do enjoy them at the time). Maybe I would feel differently if we actually lived near the water and were not so far inland. All the cool stuff either requires a two-hour drive with a hyper toddler (unless we have a sitter) or a plane ride. But I will never be a fan of jungles and excessive heat and humidity.

So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all those cold posts at the top of our list and will let you know where we’re going next summer (2013)…when they tell us in mid-July!

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