May 31, 2012

Getting our stuff!

Over a year ago, we packed up our things in Berkeley in preparation for our new life in the Foreign Service.  At that time, we divided our stuff into several categories - that which we'd bring with us in suitcases, that which would come to us in Virginia (and could only be 750 pounds total), that which would meet us in whichever country we were assigned to (7000 pounds) and items that would stay in storage.

We said goodbye to a lot our stuff (pictures, blankets, books, games, kitchen equipment, dishes, glassware, etc.) for a year - all the things that help make your living space a home.  The things we took with us to Virginia were our clothes and the super special items that can help a place feel more homelike - our special red blanket, the refrigerator magnets, a few family games and toys.  But most of it went into storage waiting for our arrival at post.

We arrived in Brazil in January, but we haven't gotten our stuff until now.  Part of that is the time it takes physically for things to arrive (our stuff shipped literally on a big ship arrived at the end of February), part of that is the time it takes for items to go through not one country's bureaucracy, but two countries' bureaucracy, and part of that is because when I left to get medical care, no one was sure if I'd be able to come back.  So everything has taken even longer than usual.

But - we've finally received all of our stuff!  Our UAB (Unaccompanied Air Baggage) arrived just 1 day before our HHE (Household Effects).  We then spent the next four days (weekend plus you get two days of administrative leave to unpack your things!) unpacking tons of boxes.  Things we hadn't seen in forever.  Things we had forgotten we had.  Things we've outgrown.  We got it all!

There were boxes everywhere.
 And everything was very carefully wrapped.  So - unpacking yielded lots and lots of packing material that needed to be crushed back into boxes.  Luckily - we had two very motivated helpers!

Finally it was all unpacked! And it all looks so good with our wonderful tangerine walls - we call it our Tangerine Dream!

They came and hung our pictures and it's all finally looking like home.  It's so nice to see our pictures and books and games again.  It's super nice to have our kitchen stuff - our plates and tablecloths, our spices, our kitchen appliances.  We've been playing lots of games and cooking up a storm!

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