Page 29 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2012

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - April 2012. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
A P R I L 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
29
F
OCUS ON
FS F
AMI LY
M
EMBER
E
MPLOYMENT
L
OCAL
E
MPLOYMENT IN
M
OZAMBIQUE AND
B
RAZIL
y family and I
are beginning to plan our next Foreign Service assignment,
now just a few months away, and are getting excited.
Speaking as a foreign-born spouse who is currently raising
three third-culture children, moving every couple of years
has become more intriguing than challenging. This is par-
ticularly true of my employment experiences as an Eligi-
ble Family Member.
In 2006, our family headed to Mozambique for a two-
year assignment. I initially thought I was leaving behind
my previous career as a trained scientist and researcher.
Little did I know that the large U.S. embassy in Maputo,
which encompasses the U.S. Agency for International De-
velopment and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as
several other federal agencies and U.S. and international
nongovernmental organizations, would be able to fulfill my
working ambitions.
I worked for a USAID-contractor NGO, funded under
the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, as the
coordinator for HIV/AIDS laboratory logistics. In that ca-
pacity, I dealt with local government agencies, interna-
tional partners, volunteer programs and the national
warehousing/distribution systems for HIV/AIDS testing
and prevention.
Because the job was to be performed at an organiza-
tion outside the U.S. mission, I had to obtain an authori-
zation to work under the local labor laws. Fortunately, that
was not a problem, thanks to our bilateral work agreement
and the great work of Embassy Maputo’s human resources
department, for which I am very grateful. As a bonus, my
success opened doors for other EFMs to apply for jobs
outside the mission: one went to work for World Vision,
another PEPFAR partner organization.
Admittedly, it helped that I was a naturalized Ameri-
can citizen who had been born and raised in Brazil, and
could furnish all my school and college transcripts in Por-
tuguese, Mozambique’s national language. My fluency
was a real asset on the job, as well, especially when it
came to travel to remote areas, where I supervised health
centers and trained health care personnel. All in all, it
was an extremely positive experience, with unconditional
support from all my American counterparts, supervisors
I
S IT POSSIBLE TO LIVE AND WORK OVERSEAS
,
PURSUING A PROFESSIONAL CAREER
,
DESPITE
FREQUENT MOVES
? A
BSOLUTELY
!
B
Y
R
AQUEL
L
IMA
M
IRANDA
Raquel Lima Miranda is the spouse of FSO Leonel Mi-
randa, a political-economic officer in Recife. An author and
reviewer for scientific journals, she currently teaches at the
American School of Recife. The Mirandas have a blog, 3rd
Culture Children.com: Life of a Globetrotting Family of 5
(http://3rdculturechildren.wordpress.com). T
his summer,
they will begin a new assignment in La Paz.