Monday, August 1, 2011

FS Tip #1:

The foreign service has an official mentor program for newbies, which is a good thing.  A lot of organizations do not.  However, I have found that everyone in the foreign service seems willing to help out, and with more than 6000 foreign service officers who have traveled to all the corners of the globe, there is a lot of good advice out there if one is willing to listen.

Here's me giving a little back, in case there are is anyone out there interested.  To drive in South Africa, you need a right hand drive car.  This required us to sell our beloved Honda Element, and pick up something new.  I didn't know what to do.  Before I left for Post, however, I was given a tip to check out

My social sponsor here in Lesotho mentioned to me that she had used this website from Japan to buy a car and have it shipped to Lesotho.  I'll admit that I thought it was a bit dodgy at first, the thought of ordering a car online from Japan and hoping to see the car in Lesotho.  I asked around a bit at FSI, and heard mostly good things, so I gave it a try.  They have a great selection of lightly used right hand drive cars with low mileage.  As long as you ask the travel advisor to include POV shipment in your orders, you get reimbursed for the shipping costs.  I ordered my new car about 5 weeks before I went wheels up, and it was here 2 days after I arrived.

My new vehicle being offloaded.

It made it here in one piece, now I just hope to be able to drive it someday.
The only bad thing about the transaction is that it has taken the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho forever to recognize my presence as a diplomat.  That means I cannot register the vehicle and get it on the road, which is simply killing me.  For the past four weeks, it has been parked about twenty feet from the main gate at the Embassy, so it has been the first thing I see every morning when I arrive at work.  Such a tease.

The good new is that I should be driving it soon.  I have been told that my recognition was forwarded to the Foreign Ministry on Friday, so I am crossing my fingers that I will be driving it tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

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