We’ve Loaded 16 Tons

We’re currently 20,000 feet above Montana. I can smell the deer and antelope from here, despite the altitude difference. Coffee has just been served….which we hope does a better job of keeping us up than the last cups consumed with this morning’s rush through one of the Seatac airport’s popular breakfast spots. We’ve both been dozing throughout the flight after running on last night’s 3 hours of sleep.
Packing finally peaked last night after a rough month. Early on, the accumulation of potential “must takes” piled up fast. It was hard to find a clear floor space to step on in the office that Tom graciously let us use for Peace Corps ‘pre-stage staging’. (we’ve been at Liz and Tom’s over the last few weeks). Backpacks and duffle bags lay in heaps in one corner (changing their contents on a regular basis). Boxes from Amazon, REI, and other stores that might contain reusable packing material cascaded across another. In every square inch of the rest of the room were piles of items, each pile, if stared at closely, could be discerned as belonging in a particular room of a house. This was a weird hybrid….move….pack experience. Packing for twenty-seven months is not packing for a vacation.
To make things a little more difficult, the Nord office is a no-cat zone, and Desmond was not a happy cat…. meow-ing incessantly in his broken, smoky voice while staring through the French door window panes separating him from his human servants (us)…… as we struggled with sorting and deciding on whether to keep or get rid of our dwindling possessions.
This morning, we finally finished packing two 50lb military duffels, two larger hiking backpacks, two smaller carry-on sized backpacks, and one laptop case….all to the breaking point. This is not a good place to be, really. Packed is good, finished is good, but when you are looking at your wrist and it says, “2:30AM”, but you need to be out the door at 5:50, things might have been planned a wee bit better.
Added to this is we can barely carry everything. Here’s some advice for those Peace Corps volunteers coming in March 2015…. Get things done early. Pack. Practice loading. See if it’s what you want to carry. See if it is something you *can* carry.
After the airport shuttle dropped us off at Seattle airport, we rented a cart to get the stuff to the airport ticket counter, where we had a really odd interaction. The counter lady charged us an extra hundred dollars, and almost rerouted our stuff to New Orleans. It’s going to take some time to get our money back, which sucks because they almost overdrew our checking, but at least everyone was nice about the situation and we were too exhausted to kick butt.
One hour, 40 minutes till landing in the Windy City. We’re going to find our hotel and check out the beds. You know, to make sure they work. Looking forward to meeting our new Nepal Peace Corps family tomorrow, people who will experience heaven and hell with us, support us, and keep us sane (relatively speaking) over the next two plus years. We hope they will kinda realize that this out of shape, stressed, exhausted shape we are in…..is not all we’ve got to offer.
And while we are thinking of future family/friends, let us send a thank you to all of our ultra amazing family/friends in our lives right now, who have taken care of us over the last couple months, reminding us of things we should have already done, clearing our cloudy brains when necessary, making sure we eat when we’ve forgotten, sewing things for us, sending things to us, providing support and distraction when needed. You are appreciated. Love all of you.


About stewickie

Me is actually 'we'. We are a married couple, life partners and share all responsibilities on and off line. We like to learn new things, have new experiences, see new places, and meet new people.
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