Our First Sponsorees


foreign service packout, HHE, UAB, moving overseas, moving abroad, packing for international moveThe disaster that was our one-bedroom apartment in Arlington, pre-packout.Kail and I recently volunteered to be social sponsors for a new couple at post. Their arrival happened to coincide with my second day of work.In the weeks leading up to their arrival, I had been concerned about whether we were being/going to be good sponsors. We didn’t have a lot of interaction via email in the weeks leading up to their arrival. This isn’t their first post, so unlike me, who had a million questions before arriving and stalked read various Foreign Service blogs, they didn’t have a lot of the standard FS newbie questions.Examples:

foreign service packout, moving abroad, moving overseas, moving to a foreign country, international moveNot a lot of books made it with us to El Salvador.Our sponsorees also already knew people at post and had arranged to buy a car locally before their arrival, so they could hit the ground running — er … driving, rather. There was no first-night-in-town dinner or weekend trip to the beach club. I didn’t even go to the airport to meet them when they arrived. I know — worst sponsor ever, right?Kail did go to the airport (I had a meeting), and he also had handled all of the transportation, pet permits and other arrival logistics since he was working at the embassy and had easier access to GSO services like the housing office and motor pool. We also at least managed to stock their kitchen with a few basic items to tide them over until they could get to the grocery store. We did check in periodically but knowing they did not need a lot of hand-holding, left it at that.Except I felt like I had to do something to hold up my end of the social sponsor bargain. Days were going by and I hadn’t even met these people yet! (Full disclosure: I still have only met the sponsoring employee, not the EFM.) So I baked some salted fudge brownies and dropped them off at the office of the sponsoring employee.I have to say, as far as being a social sponsor goes, it was pretty easy! I think it’s something you should volunteer to do at least once per post, so I feel like I can check the box for El Salvador. Not sure what Afghanistan will be like — are there even social sponsors there?Have you been a social sponsor?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

4 thoughts on “Our First Sponsorees

  1. I’m sure they were grateful for all your hard work. Some people just need to have their keys handed to them and they are happy as can be. I have become really close to some people we have sponsored and with others I just occasionally see them. The simple fact that you volunteer is a big deal. It’s really hard to find good sponsors!


  2. We are getting ready to be sponsors a 2nd time. I think it’s kind of fun, actually, and it’s really not that hard. It’s also a good way to make a new friend! Have fun!


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