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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Let the move to Ethiopia begin…

Suitcases

This morning bright and early, I deposited my husband, my daughter, my mother, the cats and way too many suitcases to the airport, so they can begin their 12.5 hour direct flight to Addis. They should have arrived in Addis by now but no word from them yet.

Max and I are still here but spinning our wheels. We wish we could be there already but it wasn’t meant to be. Due to a bunch of administrative mumbo-jumbo, not only are we leaving almost two days later but we also get two layovers and a total flight time of about two days. That’s way too many twos right there. But wait, there’s more. We get to ring in the New Year in the air too. Awesome, right? But I got my Unicorn Farts nail polish on, so I am ready for anything! (I know it’s messed up – I didn’t say I was good at putting nail polish on but I am definitely too cheap thrifty to go to a salon.)

Unicorn Farts
But at least Paul would have had a couple of days in Addis already. I figure by the time I get there, he’d be practically local. He’d be speaking Amharic, know where everything important is in Addis, have household help lined up, have bought school supplies for the children and everything else we need to set up our new home, have perfected high-altitude cooking and made an awesome feast for us for New Years. Oh, and rolled out the red carpet. Because Unicorn Farts, people.

I was going to write a long blog post about our transfer from New Delhi to Addis describing in great detail all the things that went gloriously wrong and how we had to move mountains to straighten things out but I am too tired right now. Mountain moving is tough. Plus, we are still in the process of ironing out the last kinks, so I don’t want to jinx anything.

What is important is that we are all going to Addis, one way or another. As in no children are left behind to fend for themselves in the U.S. parentless, which was discussed for a while, believe it or not. And no, it was not our idea, in case you were wondering.

We also managed to pack and ship all of our crap stuff without killing each other, although things were rather tense there for a while. But I am happy to report that not even an eye was gouged in the process. So we have that going for us! Because in the Foreign Service, if you can successfully weather three pack-outs and a tour in Vietnam (or a similar place with insanely attractive and aggressive women), you marriage might just last . We are half-way there, honey…

I could tell you that everything went perfectly with our pack-out and that we were one ounce below our weight allowances but I’d be lying. That’s not how we roll. It seemed like we were right on with our UAB until the packers left and we found a several largish items, we had forgotten. Plus, I failed miserably at convincing my better half to pack our suitcases before our pack-out, so we know exactly how much we need to pack and better prioritize what has to go to UAB vs. Consumables. Nah, too logical. Instead, after the not-so-smooth pack-out, we had to pack our suitcases to the point of explosion and still had a bunch of boxes to ship to ourselves in Addis, which somehow became my job. Oh, the joy!

This was our first time shipping consumables. We were able to reach an agreement (sort of) on what we needed to buy but how to go about it was a point of contention. I, the gatherer, thought we should be buying things throughout our time in Washington and get the job done gradually but methodically. My husband, the hunter, thought we should kill it (buy everything) with one stone the weekend before our pack-out, which was also two days before Christmas. His argument was that we didn’t really have the space to store the consumables for a long time. He was right about that because there were five of us crammed in a two-bedroom apartment but buying a boatload of consumables in 24 hours from a dozen different stores and virtually melting our credit cards in the process right before Christmas makes a pathological methodical gatherer like me a teensy bit edgy. But I have my Unicorn Farts, so I. AM. FINE!

Anyway, Christmas was wonderful. There was even an engagement in the family, which was awesome! The extended family, that is. A lovely niece, not Nia or me or my Mother!

But now I am in desperate need of some Zs, so I am going to call it a night. The next time you hear from me, it will probably be from Addis (Internet Gods Willing) and in 2015!

Have a fantastic New Year everyone!

P.S. For the record, putting on Unicorn Farts nail polish is a royal pain in the hiney. It took me forever and a half to position the confetti approximately where I wanted them to go. Being klutzish didn’t help either.

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