A-100 is over.
And so begins the time of the List.
The list of how long it takes us to use a bottle of shampoo (or a roll of toilet paper, or a bag of dog food…whatever consumable item it is for which we might have to determine the number of items necessary to tide us over for two years in Kinshasa).
The list of what we eat, like to eat, might possibly want to eat, and that will be either wholly unavailable (think ice cream treats and other items that cannot be shipped) or exorbitantly costly (we have heard that a case of diet Coke can cost upward of $80 USD) in Kinshasa, and thus must be gorged on (or a substitute acquired, tested and approved) prior to departure.
The list of all the people we love who live all over this country, and others, and who we will want to visit, nuzzle up to, break bread with, and generally fill our minds and hearts to overflowing with, before we leave.
The list of places we want to visit – both in Washington, and in general, in the next nine or so months.
The list of books we want to read that will need to be downloaded, bought, borrowed, or shipped via Amazon (hooray for Amazon) to our new home.
The list of games, toys, entertainment, DVDs, music, and other time occupiers that we will need to buy (and pack) before July.
The list of birthday, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Anniversary, and “just because” presents and cards we need to shop for, buy, and hide away (but in such a way that we remember where we put them when we actually need them) to cover us for two years.
The list of documents, power cords, transformers, adaptors, tags and shots we will need to safely ship our car, our dog, our electronics and our gadgets (and to get them back when they land on Congo soil).
The list of what we want to carry with us (300 lbs (two 50 lbs suitcases/person)), ship by air (600 lbs – the “UAB“), and/or ship by boat (7,200 lbs – our “HHE“) when we leave. And yes, I get it, some may think it is a little too premature to be making this list, but I feel like if i don’t start now something vital will be forgotten or overlooked. I tend toward procrastination, so I’m trying to avoid the last minute panic and wild throwing of random items into a suitcase only to arrive somewhere and find that I have packed every shirt I own, but no underwear.
The list of what insurance we need, whether we have updated (and appropriate) wills, powers of attorney, and advance directives, and which of our 4,917 (a guesstimate) passwords go with which online accounts.
And, as they say, the lists go on and on.
I’ll get it together, I have no doubt, but right now I’m lying in bed at night thinking about my lists, worrying about my lists, planning my lists…and, apparently, turning my blog into its very own list. So, maybe this is the list I should tackle next…
P.S. For anyone wondering, yes, Brian was officially sworn in last Friday. We were incredibly proud and I can’t wait to write about it, but I’m waiting for a special photo that I need to get from someone else…stay tuned.