Cleared for takeoff (more or less) and I’ll be headed up to Ottawa shortly.
Why not immediately? There’s this little thing called Home Leave.
Now, I like the idea of Home Leave. The idea is that between each tour a Foreign Service Officer should spend some time in the U.S. remembering how to be an American. It’s mandated by Congress.
Some FSOs complain it’s expensive if you don’t have a place to crash for (at least) a month and inconvenient. Let’s be honest about something…a lot of FSOs prefer living overseas in a big house with people to watch the kids and clean and cook to living in a small house or apartment and doing all that yourself. But that’s it. That’s not how most Americans live and it’s important to remember who we’re representing.
That being said, I’ve been back in the US since September, so it’s not like I haven’t been living in the U.S. for a while. Why do I still need to go on home leave? A reasonable question, and the answer is (short version) because Congress says so and (long version) because if we made it flexible, the rules would get so complicated it wouldn’t be worth the administrative cost.
So, I’ll get organized for moving north, probably head south for some sun, visit friends and family, and get my house ready to rent…then I’m off to my next post…finally!