Friday, June 27, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Friends and Stuff

I said my first goodbye today. One of my staff members is going on vacation and won't be back until after we depart post.

It was hard. It was all I could do not to break down and cry. There are so many awesome people here, especially among my staff. I adore them all.

Leaving Tallinn is going to be hard.

Less emotional was saying goodbye to some of our stuff. Today was the day we packed out our UAB, or Unaccompanied Baggage.

As officers, we each get 250 lbs of UAB, so 500 lbs total. I discovered coming here that a lot of my weight was taken up by clothes, especially work clothes. I knew I wouldn't need much of those since I am going to FSI (the Foreign Service Institute) to study language. Jeans or khakis and polos will do the trick.

So I wasn't packing a lot of suits...and shockingly, after three years in Estonia, I have a limited amount of "summer" clothes in the non-Arctic sense of summer (as I write, I am wearing a fleece and shearling slippers...and our apartment does not have AC).

Still, I was ready. I had lists. I had all of the stuff from the lists carefully piled so we didn't forget anything.
The box-like thing to the right is actually the pads for the dining table.
We used them to surround our clothes so the cats didn't make a bed there.
I highlighted each thing on my list as I put it in the pile.

What I didn't plan for? Needing more stuff to put in it.

So the packers arrived. (Have I mentioned how much I love Estonia? The movers were scheduled to arrive at 9 am. They got here at 8:55. They removed their shoes. They brought actual bubble wrap. And they estimated about 2 hours and left just shy of 2 hours later.)

And they packed up our pile.

The embroidered pillow is the cats'.
The blue and purple thing is a stuffed dog toy. Priorities!

And then they asked where the OTHER HALF was.

I have very little idea what is in the second half. Some more clothes. A carpet from Azerbaijan that the cats will love because it is covered with their hair. A Catawba pot for smudging our new home. My favorite coat (because I use my leather jacket here in June...why wouldn't I need it in DC in July?). Softball gloves. Who knows what else?

There is one thing in there I didn't intend to put camera. I meant to put in my camera BAG but to bring the camera with me in my backpack. Hopefully it arrives before our home leave, or my pictures are going to be with my little point and shoot. Sad, but not devastating.

When it was all said and done, we managed to use most of our weight. I think we each used about 235 of our 250 lbs. And it should soon be on the way to DC.

Goodbye, stuff!

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