Pretty much the only predictable thing in the Foreign Service is that you will move. Lots. To several different countries. You don’t really know that far in advance which ones (although we usually get a year, which my military colleagues would love to have), but when you arrive at post, you know you’ll leave in two to three years (usually…as always, it depends on specific circumstances, so it might be longer or shorter…you just never know).
After three years in Liberia, we’re getting ready to move on to our next post. OK, we’ve actually been slowly getting ready for a while now; those preparations just hit warp speed this past week when the packers came. I got lucky and got my July 4th weekend back since the delegation I was supposed to have shepherded around decided to cancel due to the heavy rains that flooded the main road to the airport. And the alternate route. And the secondary alternate route. When we told them that they could probably land and get to town for meetings, but that departure was a little questionable, they decided to skip Liberia. Probably a wise choice, actually.
So, with that, the long weekend was spent doing laundry, packing suitcases, and sorting possessions into if they will be sent by air, by sea, or given away here. That sounds a lot more organized than it actually was, especially since we didn’t get our “welcome kit” (that is, the set of towels and dishes that we get loaned for right when you arrive and just before you depart while your posessions are being shipped) until the day the movers came, rather than the day before as we had planned/hoped.
When the movers came, we locked the cats in a bathroom so they couldn’t cause mischief. The kids played in a back room, and the movers set to work boxing everything up. They did a really great job of it, actually. Things seemed well-packed and efficiently done. They almost packed everything up the first day, working about six or so hours. They had to come back the second day and pack for about an hour, then it was time to load the truck.
Of course, the truck came late. And it was raining. Hard. They strung a tarp up over the lift vans and the back of the truck so that they could load boxes without getting wet. At least, that was the idea. I think we kept most things well enough covered, but we might have a bit of mildew on the other end (wouldn’t be the first time).
So, a couple of weeks of stuff-free living, then vacation, then back to work in the new posting. As moves go, this actually isn’t all that stressful or difficult, especially since I don’t need to load all the boxes. Unpacking, on the other hand, is another story. Even if they would do it, it’s really hard to have movers unpack your boxes because you probably don’t really know where all the stuff should go. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get to it, and once the slow boat makes it across the Atlantic.