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feeling overwhelmed

We are still grappling with the realization that we are leaving Nairobi soon, and reading the 30-page departure guide cover to cover certainly did not help.


In fact, after perusing the administrative forms and contemplating all the logistical arrangements we have to make, our minds went into a bit of paralysis. Knowing that we should have started some of the preparations long ago also did not help. Faced with the daunting task of tying up all the loose ends of our life in Kenya in less than three months we procrastinated for most of the week, blogging, going through pictures from our recent travels, and making time to spend with friends.

From selling our car to packing up our worldly possessions, to planning out our home leave itinerary, the next couple of months promise to be a hectic runaround filled with a myriad tasks. S has tried to at least make the pack-out part easier by selling some of the stuff we no longer need. At first she advertised a handful of things in the Embassy’s weekly newsletter. As there are over a thousand local staff employed in Nairobi, the items sold instantaneously, leading S to advertise more and more of our stuff, to the point that D asked if she was planning to skip the pack-out altogether and sell off the whole house.

Complicating the preparations is our work situation. Kenya’s rapidly approaching elections mean that D is busier than ever, and S is feeling equally overwhelmed as she just started a new job. Also, the yearly evaluation season is just around the corner, meaning that we’ll have to balance doing our day jobs with evaluation prep and the administrative runaround.

The biggest headache by far is figuring out how to ship Emmie to Chisinau. Because Moldova is such a small and, apparently, infrequently visited country no airline will fly in a dog of her size (and she’s not even a big dog!). S has spent over a month doing research and we are still no closer to a good solution to this part of our moving puzzle.

We hope to find some time this weekend to nail down our summer travel plans and firm up our flights home. Perhaps once we have that piece all set we’ll stop being in denial about leaving Kenya.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. meaghan #

    Yikes! I’m going through this for the first time (heading to post, not leaving) and I feel your pain – it’s hard enough doing all that stuff in my home city; I can’t imagine trying to navigate the process in another country.

    Re Emmie, have you looked into shipping her to a neighbouring country and driving? It would be a bit of a pain I suppose, but it beats the alternative!

    February 7, 2013
    • Thanks Meaghan, do you know yet where you’re headed? It’s not so much the other country aspect of it – although there is that too – it’s more the case that the paperwork you have to fill out (at least at this post) is more extensive for checking out than checking in. They even hold your tickets if you haven’t acquired all of the requisite signatures.

      In terms of shipping Emmie, the closest we can ship her is Bucharest. The question is whether we ask someone to take care of her here or bring her back to the US (through Europe) only to ship her back through multiple European cities a few months later. More to come on that front soon.

      February 7, 2013
      • meaghan #

        Yeah, we’re headed to Amman! For us it’s mostly organizing our personal stuff – renting our condo, deciding what to store/ship/sell, dealing with insurance and health care, etc. I’m sure it gets easier, though!

        Ah, yes, I can see the dilemma – hopefully you can figure something out!

        February 8, 2013
        • Oh, that’ll be cool – congrats!

          Now that you mention it, all that stuff was pretty hectic too – when we joined the FS, we were unmarried and living in Chicago and wound up moving twice and getting married in about 4 months. We just forgot about how bad it was because we’re a couple of years removed from all that craziness :) One of the thoughts helping us maintain sanity is that somehow all the stuff that needs to get done WILL get done – it always does – and that means in just a few short months we’ll leave these worries behind and concentrate on enjoying home leave.

          February 8, 2013
  2. Esther Kosofsky #

    There is Chabad in Kishenev!

    February 7, 2013

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