After the shopping trip and about two hours of sleep, today is my official first day on my new job. Like all new jobs, there is a check-in process. I checked in with everyone from Human Resources, Finance and even the Base Exchange (BX). I was issued a cell phone pre-loaded with all of the military and civilian personnel assigned to this military compound (impressive!), as well as important numbers that may be needed such as Security to report our checkpoints and numbers to the embassies in the area.
I met so many folks in two days! The most memorable was Ms. Jean. She is the BX Manager. As soon as my sponsor introduced us, she instantly gave me a big hug and said "Welcome to the Kingdom!" Ms. Jean would definitely make a great candidate for the welcoming committee if they had one here! She asked me if I like Filipino food and that she would call me when she had prepared some for me to take home. She wasn't kidding. Recently, she brought me a whole fish stuffed with vegetables and rice and some vegetable lumpia. All I had to do was finish baking the fish and fry the lumpia. I can see myself getting very spoiled here!
My last two stops were to talk to the Deputy Program Manager (DPM) who is a civilian and the Program Manager (PM) of the unit who is a Brigadier General.
Both are the husbands of the wives that took me shopping when I arrived, so they had some familiarity with me. They both relayed to me the mission and what part my position as a Analyst played in accomplishing it.
I know there will be some challenges as well as obstacles in my new position. In a position where I will be acting as an advisor on acquisition matters to the Saudi's in a land where I am considered a "second class citizen" I am ready and up for the challenge.
All the best,