wk 3, entry 1 - US Embassy in BA

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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Who would have thought I would enjoy visiting a US embassy so much?  Kirk did a great job of lining up some dynamite people to talk to us:  the US ambassador to Argentina, some other important guy who’s title started with a D, a politics guy, an economics guy, and a military guy.  Everyone asked very insightful questions and the dialogue between the students and the speakers was excellent.  I learned a lot about the foreign service - what it’s like to work there (the good and the bad, bureaucratic tape, moving every few years, seeing so many different places, the difficulty of having a family) and what it takes to apply and get in.  Everyone who spoke to us seemed to really enjoy and be enthusiastic about their job (except for maybe the quirky politics guy), saying that they rarely, if ever, get bored of it.  

Foreign service work seems right up my alley, but a few aspects give me pause.  First - working for the state.  It’s not the money, I don’t mind not being rich.  It’s the fact that by working for the state, you are dedicating yourself so fully to it.  Its not that you can’t question the government’s decisions or disagree with them, but that you have to carry out those ends regardless of how you personally feel about them.  I picture Scott Mcclelan (White House Correspondent? Spokesperson?  Something like that), or Condie Rice, and I know that I would never be able to get in front of cameras and support some of the statements and government decisions that they have to support - I would feel dirty.  They look absolutely ridiculous sometimes trying to explain rationale for a decision or policy that flies in the face of all reason. 

If I don’t agree with something and think it is crappy, I want the freedom to say it and act openly, not whisper disagreement behind closed doors and claim something different to the public. 

I pledge Allegiance
To the flag
Of the United States of America
But not Blind Allegiance
Thank God
Amen

Another is the limited scope of the positions.  You get to see the world and have a fun, interesting, exciting job in wonderful cities all around the world, but yet they are all working toward the same goal.  All who enter the Foreign Service work to support, benefit, and carry out the policies of the US government.  I think that I would want a career or position that has different goals.  Not that I don’t support the US and think it is a wonderful country, but I am more concerned about world issues.  And while I could have an impact on and influence the world while working for US Foreign Services, I think I might get frustrated by a feeling of lack of impact or importance.  I can’t do it all, but what about World Hunger, Invisible Children, Bus 174

coair says:
Glad you've had such a good experience! Just be patient! Love ya!
Posted on: Jun 08, 2006
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