It’s that time of year again. Foreign Service families all over the world are working on the process of learning about, bidding on, networking for, and otherwise securing their next posts. Typically, this process starts early in the year and finishes up sometime in the spring (with a few exceptions for late-breaking openings, cancellations, or other random events), with the families moving sometime the following year. We went through the process roughly a year before we left Cairo, so we knew that we’d be in Cambodia over a year before we stepped foot in Asia. We’re in the process of going through it again now. It isn’t finished yet—the proverbial fat lady hasn’t sung, so everything could change—but we’re almost certain that we know our next assignment. We’ve decided that we’re certain enough to go ahead and announce it.
But just announcing it wouldn’t be very fun.
So we’re going to play a guessing game. Every day for the next 10 days (including today), I will provide one clue about either the city or the country in which we will live. Your job is to guess the city and country.
The day after I post the final clue, I’ll do a drawing. Everyone who submitted a correct guess will be entered in the drawing. There will be one winner. That one winner will receive a gift card to Amazon.com worth $10.00 (ten U. S. dollars).
Let’s start with the fun stuff—the first clue!
Where Are We Going? Clue 1:
We’ll actually have winter again! With snow! But we’ll also have warm-to-hot, dry summers.
Now for the boring details about how this game will work:
- A correct answer will include both the country name and the city name—and here’s a freebie clue: We will be living in the country’s capital city, so once you know one, it’s pretty easy to figure out the other.
- Clues will be posted in separate blog posts, one each day for 10 days. They already have been written and scheduled to post each day at 7pm Cambodia time, which is 8am Eastern Standard Time in the States.
- Guesses should be submitted in one of two ways: comment on one of the related posts (I have enabled comment moderation, so that I can see the guesses without publishing them for others to see, thus keeping it fair) or send an email to me at ReflectionsQA@gmail.com. For those of you who are my Facebook friends, guesses posted there will not count. I want to keep the guesses private until we announce the correct answer in order to keep it fair.
- Entries must include a valid email address. Guesses submitted by comment will not be published, so I will not put your email address on the blog. The email address included in your entry is the one that will receive the gift card. If the email address is invalid, a new winner will be chosen.
- Only one correct answer per person will count. If you happen to have children who are old enough to participate, but who do not have the means to send me an email or comment on the blog apart from your account, I will allow multiple correct entries from one account if you specify that a specific guess is from a specific child, i.e., “this entry is from my daughter Jane” on one entry and “this entry is from my son John” on another. You’re on the honor system that the kids (1) exist and (2) are actually participating, not just serving to get you extra entries.
- You may guess more than once. However, only your last guess counts. So what I’m really saying is that you only get one “final answer” guess, but you can change it up to the last minute. If you guess correctly on the first day, then guess again incorrectly on the last day, your first guess is negated, and you are not entered in the drawing. This rule is to prevent anyone from gaming the system and entering 196 guesses (there are roughly that many countries in the world) in order to cover all their bases.
- People who guess correctly on fewer clues will be rewarded with additional entries. If you guess correctly when only one clue is showing, you get one entry for the correct guess, plus an additional 10 entries. If you guess correctly when only two clues are showing, you get one plus nine entries. So forth and so on until if you guess correctly when all ten clues are up, you get one plus one. The time stamp on your entry will determine on which clue your entry was submitted—anything at or before 7pm Cambodia time counts as the previous clue, and anything after 7pm Cambodia time (even if only by a minute) counts as the next clue.
- There is a very small number of people who have been told where we’re going. These people are still eligible to play, but they will receive only one entry, no matter when they “guess.” In this way, people who truly guess are rewarded for the extra effort and uncertainty involved in following the clues, but everyone still can participate.
- The drawing will be held roughly 24 hours after the final clue is posted. The winner will be notified in the follow-up post in which we actually announce our next home and via email.
- Obviously, you must have an email address, or permission to receive email at someone else’s email address, in order to win. The gift card will be delivered via email.
- The gift card will be to Amazon.com, not to one of its international affiliates.
And if you made it through all that, congratulations! Now get to guessing--and good luck!