That's right folks, we are heading back to Turkey, this time, we'll be living in Ankara starting Summer 2017.
How did we get assigned to Turkey again, you ask? Well, it's a long story, so I will try to give you the abridged version of events.
When S started bidding earlier this summer, we narrowed down our desired posts to two different bureaus: WHA (Western Hemisphere) and EUR (Europe). S bid on approximately four jobs in WHA and managed to make the short list for nearly all of those jobs. (The short list is the top 2 to 3 candidates who have applied for that position). He was excited. I was excited. We were ready to start making some serious plans as he was *this* close to accepting an offer in a paradise-like location...But then EUR came calling. And S decided he *really* wanted to try to get back to Europe. So, he interviewed with several places and in the end made the short list for four jobs at three different EUR embassies. That was excellent news and we were both really thrilled. But it also meant he had to make a tough decision and let the WHA post know where he stood. He (we) decided to take a chance and see if he could get one of those EUR jobs, all of which were in countries we knew we would be more than happy to live.
However, in the midst of all the bidding and short list notifications, etc., he decided to apply for a job in Ankara. We both loved our time in Adana and always joked that we would go back to Turkey if another assignment became available in the future. We just didn't realize that "future" assignment would come so quickly. Because in the end, S made the Ankara short list too. In fact, he was their top choice. We knew he was also the top choice for a couple other jobs/postings, but we also knew that it wasn't up to the post to make the decision. In EUR, it is up to the powers that be within the bureau to make the final decision. So, we sat back and waited for them to determine which job would be the best for S given that he was a top choice for *at least* two different jobs. In the end, they determined that S would be best suited for a management job in Ankara.
We, or at least I, was a bit shocked. And a bit nervous, given the unpredictable nature of things there right now. But we are still very excited. In fact, we can't wait and S is itching to get back into management work again. And he is over the moon with excitement. We get to go back to Turkey!!! A country and culture I absolutely adore, and the place where my second son was born. I always tell people I left a little bit of my soul in Turkey, and it's true. I'm excited to go back and explore more of the country, interact with the amazing people, see our old friends and travel around Europe.
The school options look excellent for E, and he preschool options are plentiful. I'm sure we will find a great one for D and R. And while I didn't get my house with backyard, we hope to get into an apartment complex with a park/playground and a pool. As a swimmer, you can't imagine how happy that makes me. Oh, and I am already trying to figure out how to keep my kids speaking and understanding Spanish during our time there. I am kicking myself for letting E lose his Turkish (which he was fluently speaking when we left Adana) that I dare not let them all lose their Spanish! If anyone reading this has tips, please let me know!
Look out Turkey! Ready or not, here we come!