Be Awesome

Look, our forefathers died for the "pursuit of happiness," okay? Not for the "sit around and wait of happiness." Now if you want, we can go to the same bar, drink the same beer, talk to the same people every day or you can lick the Liberty Bell. You can grab life by the crack and lick the crap out of it.
--Barney (HIMYM)

Monday, June 24, 2013

R&R Time

Reaching about the mid-point of my two year assignment in Indonesia, I've been back in the good ol' US on a vacation called R&R (Rest and Recuperation).  I've spent 1 1/2 weeks back home on vacation leave and tied on an essential training back in DC before making my way back to the other side of the globe.

R&R is referred to as an entitlement benefit Foreign Service employees receive which essentially is the benefit of a plane ticket, or cost equivalent, to a specified destination based off of the location of your posting or a plane ticket to the US.  Reference the Foreign Affairs Manual for a more complicated definition.  Generally, the standard assignment receives one R&R benefit every two years.  Some use the ticket for a vacation abroad to another destination, I elected to come back home.  With the combination of R&Rs and Home Leave benefits (I'll explain that sometime next year when I receive it), one could theoretically come back to the US once every year.

Being back home in St. Louis was a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and family as well as over-indulge in every cuisine that isn't possible to be found in Indonesia (Hello White Castle, St. Louis style pizza, great Mexican food, and good Chinese buffets!).  Adding the training to the end of my R&R was also important in order to fulfill the last couple of courses I need to be ready to apply for my warrant in the next couple of months as well as discuss with the Home Office on the upcoming bidding season for where I might be assigned next after Indonesia.

Feeling renewed and ready to get back to the office!  With that, here are some savory things I'm going to miss when going back.
Nothing better.  St. Louis style pizza.
Haven't heard of it?  It's a St. Paul sandwich!
White Castle.  What I craved.
A St. Louis tradition.  Ted Drewes.


  1. Congrats on the R and R. I discovered your blog the other night, and have found it really interesting. I recently applied to a few positions with USAID, including a contracting officer position. Although you may mention it somewhere on this blog (and I just haven't read that entry yet) could you tell me some of the credentials (education, work experience, etc.) that you and your classmates had in order to work with USAID (in this position and/or just in general)? Thanks so much! -Lori

  2. Hi Lori,

    Great that your interested in joining USAID. The purpose and the work is very fulfilling and keeps me motivated every day!

    In terms of education requirements for joining USAID, if you're considering the Civil Service side, it depends on the particular position you are applying for. For the Foreign Service, generally most people have Masters degree but that isn't for everyone. For Contracting Officer positions, generally people have degrees related to development, business, or law.

    For work experience, most people in my class had between 5-10 years work experience before joining USAID. There are outliers on both sides, as well. Work experience was varied and not necessarily development work, however that helps! I didn't work in development before joining USAID.

    See my post regarding information on my class.

    Good luck!

  3. This is helpful. It's great to see how many months this process can take. :)

    I had two applications recently referred to the selecting official at USAID but then I was not selected for an interview. I also applied to a contracting officer position a few weeks ago. I've been considering joining the Peace Corps to bulk up the international health/development part of my resume and be more competitive for USAID. (I was in the Army, so currently I have a 15 month deployment to Afghanistan on my resume. However, the deployment wasn't exactly development work.)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...