Friday, May 8

Temporary Duty (TDY)

My work environment is like none other. I hang out with people who travel from one side of the country to the next on a regular basis. If you ever want to save money, and you need a package delivered to Egypt, Zambia, France, Vietnam, Barbados, Russia, Hawaii, Ethiopia, Botswana, Afghanistan, Utah (on my account), Germany, Angola, India, China, South Africa, Namibia, Guyana, etc., I'm about 99% certain I could find someone in my office to personally deliver it for you. I work amongst international connoisseurs.

I once overheard a co-worker expressing her adolescent passion for Zebra's, only years later to look at them as any other ordinary animal, i.e. a dog or cat, or maybe just an ordinary horse in this case. She claims she loved them as a child, now, as an adult, and seeing them so frequently on her numerous trips to Africa each year, that passion has long since subsided. At this very moment I just overheard another co-worker say that she's going to Europe tomorrow. "I'm not really excited," she said, "I don't really love Europe. It's expensive." That's probably what I would say too, right before I board the plane for a dreadful/expensive trip to Paris and London. It's a rough life these people live. Everytime I overhear someone discussing one of their many TDY's (even if it was a bad experience), part of me envy's their life, their job, their experiences.

You can imagine my embarrassment when someone finds out that I've never been oversea before. They usually make a gasping sound, I feel embarrassed, and I can only imagine the thought running through their head, "THIS POOR MORMON GIRL HASN'T EXPERIENCED LIFE!" The extent of my "international" travel has been to Canada and Mexico. Not that I'm not grateful for the "international" trips I've been on, because let's face it, most of our business trips don't occur in Mexico or Canada, but the point is this; I've never left Northern America, and it's time I bid this country farewell and go visit some place other than Utah.

I keep saying 2009 is my year for international travel, and with a passport now in hand, and a year quickly slipping away, the time has finally arrived. Thank goodness for being in the right place at the right time. A few weeks ago one of our PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) Coordinators was in town from Botswana. I overheard her saying she is the only AID worker in the mission. Being the great eavesdropper that I am, and even better at chiming into a conversation that was never intended for me in the first place, I jokingly turned and said with a smile, "If you ever need help, I'd be happy to come out." I think it was the smile that got her, because in just two weeks I'll be on my way to becoming an international connoisseur the beginning stages anyway.

My first trip oversea and where do I get to go? Botswana! And how long do I get to go for? An ENTIRE month! Sure, if I must, I'll go to Africa for my first "business" trip.

While Ben Southall steals my job as an Island caretaker in Australia, blogging about his many adventures and luring tourist to the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef, maybe I'll do my own makeshift version and entice the world to visit this fabulous country.

To be continued...


MichaelJ said...

I'm a little disappointed you chose Africa over Idaho, but oh well. I would do the same.

Brittany said...

Well, you have me beat. I've been to Europe, but somehow Botswana sounds more international than Germany or Switzerland.

The Lara Family said...

That is so exciting Amy! You will definately have to blog about your adventures while you are there.

Alicia said...

Wow... You rock! What a trip to remember!

Carlita said...

soooo exciting! and i love that you leave in 2 weeks. i think it's better when it's quick.

Congrats on your first passport stamp!