Pack Out I

The morning that the movers arrive is always stressful. We’ve tried to do as much in advance as we can and we are hoping that our UAB will not exceed 700 lbs and that the what we are planning to ship to Guadalajara won’t exceed 7,200 lbs. We did a good bit of sorting and arranging in advance, which paid off in a smoother moving experience once the controlled chaos of the men arriving began.

Our UAB was sorted in guest room and out in the foyer area. We were able to ship everything that we had planned, as our total weight came in at around 640 lbs.

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It’s fairly crazy watching the packers get after it. They were very quick, yet very meticulous in how they packed boxes and in how they wrapped and protected furniture.

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It took two days to get everything packed and ready to load onto the truck. Then it was time to load our HHE going to Guadalajara and everything else that was going back to storage in Maryland.

 

Semester Break Show

Last week DiploTot’s school had a big performance at a theater down in Zone 1, Teatro Abril. I knew that there was some sort of event taking place down at this theater just before their two-week break, but I wasn’t completely sure what all that entailed. We had paid some money for some kind of costume and DiploTot seemed to have picked up some dance moves that she was at times demonstrating to us at home.

Well, the week leading up, she brought her costume home and I was completely blown away that she had a custom made princess dress that cost us only about $20. We hired a driver to get us down to the theater the morning of the event, still not quite sure of what the show entailed. I have to say, we were quite impressed. Every class had a dance number that they performed and each class had different costumes.

DiploTot’s class performed to Hit Me With Your Best Shot. Her class was the last to perform and DiploTot started off pretty much just standing there, but then when the time came to jump up and down, she joined right in, so all and all, not bad. We were just glad that she didn’t just stand there the entire time, or worse yet, just cry.

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The school’s director, Mariella.

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Her teacher, Sophia.

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Mexican Visa Mug Shots

Before arriving in Guadalajara, we have to have our Mexican diplomatic work visas. The process is quite simple, mainly because DiploMom can take our passports and forms to a person in the embassy and he then handles getting them over to the Mexican embassy and then picking them up. The only hassle on our part is getting the photos taken.

Here are our mug shots. As you can see, DiploTot has the whole “you can’t smile for the passport/visa photo” thing down especially well. At least DiploBoy managed to get away with a little bit of a smile. Quite a difference from when we had to get his photo for his passport after he was born and we couldn’t get him to wake up. The guy taking the photo at the post office finally gave up and we went with the sleeping 3-week-old newborn photo.

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We’ve received our passports back with the visas, so we are all official now. It was exciting to see them as it makes the pending changes seem particularly real. They’ll be getting even more real soon as movers will be here to start our pack out in about a month.

Onward Assignments

Spring and early summer is a busy transition time for people at post. We’ll be headed out at the end of July and we’ve had several good friends depart with a good number more in the the next couple of months. Here is where other friends are headed. Some of these are with the Embassy and others are with US AID.

  • Windhoek, Namibia
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Lilongwe, Malawi
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Kiev, Ukraine
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Harare, Zimbabwe
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Baghdad, Iraq

Painting The Wall

DiploMom recently headed up a project for their Consular Development day activity to paint a wall that is outside of the waiting area for visa applicants. The wall is actually a part of the restaurant next door and they were kind enough to agree to the painting proposal. A local graphic designer volunteered his time for the design and then it was up to the Consular section to get things painted.

The project turned out great and the new painting and design is a huge improvement over what had been there before. Here’s a time lapse video of some of the painting.