Page 33 - FSJ June 2012

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J U N E 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
source Management team the following year. He is the
chairman of the consulate general’s FSN Committee.
By Priya Beegun, Port Louis
Have you ever heard the African proverb, “A roaring
lion kills no game”? In other words, you cannot achieve
anything by sitting around talking about it; you must get
up and work for it.
Well, that insight is what brought me to the embassy
of the United States of America in Port Louis, Mauri-
tius, almost six years ago. After years as a reporter, fol-
lowed by two transitory professional experiences as an
academic and a training executive in an investment com-
pany, I finally found what many would depict as the
dream job.
But wait! Did I say six years? This seems a remarkably
long time, at least to me — until I consider that when I
joined the public affairs section as a cultural affairs assis-
tant, I stepped into the shoes of an amazing retiree with
more than 25 years of experience.
I was expected to walk around in them comfortably
right away, but it took me a year or so to grasp the gist of
my position and, above all, what it means to work for the
U.S. Department of State. But from then on, everything
gradually started to fall into place.
Almost six years later, I look back with a big smile. I
sailed through some rough waters, but I grew. I some-
times learned the hard way, but I have become more
knowledgeable. I moved from being a cultural affairs as-
sistant to a cultural affairs specialist, taking on additional
responsibilities and new challenges as the years went by.
Along the way, I sent out plenty of SOS messages to un-
known counterparts in Africa and Washington, D.C., ask-
ing for help. Many of these people, formerly complete