10 Weeks… and it begins

We are 10 weeks away from departure! Our tickets to leave LAX are for Friday, March 20, so the clock is ticking! And a lot is happening around here.

We received a lot of counsel both from people here and in Malawi that our best option by far would be to pack and send a container of our items to Malawi. We soon realized why – it’s difficult/impossible to purchase many home items in Malawi (like a couch, a mattress, a filing cabinet, etc.). With this in mind as we set up our home here in California over the past 10 months, we tried to strategically purchase only items that we would take to Malawi. We budgeted and searched and have finally come to the place where we think we have almost everything we need.

And just in time, because we’re moving! Yesterday a representative from an international moving company came to do a survey of everything we want to ship to Malawi. That meant we had to have everything we want to ship to Malawi – and only those items – present and visible in our apartment. We got everything out of storage, we pulled things out of closets, we sorted out items that aren’t going with us and hid them in a closet, and we stacked everything else all around our apartment…

Items from storage (Thanks again for the truck, Gary!):
Packing 1

Items pulled out of the closet:
Packing 2

Stacking up around the house!
Packing 3

An international move is a funny thing. Apparently you can’t pack the boxes or the container yourself. So all those wonderful friends who keep volunteering to help us move – you’re off the hook. =) There are homeland security laws and customs regulations now about who packs the items and how they’re packed, so the moving company does it all. Hypothetically this will minimize customs and quarantine time too, but who are we kidding – we’re just planning on it taking up to 6 months to reach Lilongwe.

With the moving company survey done now, we’re waiting for their estimate before we book a time to pack and load. Likely it will be the end of next week, or Monday/Tuesday of the following week. Our goal is to have it packed and out of the apartment by the 21st when we leave for The Great Floreen Roadtrip, Part 1. More on that to come soon!

As I look around this apartment that I’ve grown to love as our first home together, I can’t help but think that this is just the beginning. We leave our home here in the States, but we look forward to setting up our next home, our home for years to come, in Malawi!

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