Wednesday, January 13, 2010


  Reality has set in. We're moving to Africa. We're really going. Which means that there's really a lot to do. Big important stuff like renting out the house, first we have to get the house ready to rent out.   Sell the cars, enroll the kids in school, taxes, financial stuff, storage, learning French and that dental appointment I’ve been putting off for two years now. Don’t forget that mammogram I was supposed to get when I turned 40 a couple months ago.  That’s not on the agenda today though.  Hoarding is. 

  Panic is setting in. We need to bring stuff with us that we won't able to get there.  But, I have no idea what you can get there.  Thus, the conundrum and need to stockpile.  I start ticking off a list of essentials we just can’t live without in my head. Chapstick.  I am addicted to lip balm and freely admit I’m powerless and can’t control myself from it’s waxy sheen.  What about hair detangler for the girls? Surely they won't sell it in a cute convenient spray bottle with a purple octopus on it there. Unless it’s actually green.  Perhaps the most important, as the palest white people in  America, let alone Africa, sunscreen. Lots of sunscreen! 

  Panic + avoidance of all urgent matters I wish to avoid=emergency trip to Target. 

  Where do I even start? The kids will need shorts, sandals and t-shirts, but they’re in school right now.   And, if I choose the shorts the kids won’t wear them.  This will require a return trip to the store to return the shorts with the unwilling kids to the tune of some melodic whining, incessant complaining and mandatory poking.  Anyway, it's winter and there aren't any sandals in all of Colorado right now. I’ve already massively reduced my scope to exclude the kids.

  Every one else in the family has a good one except for me.  I got my bike at a thrift store for $15 then found out when I got it home, the brakes don’t work.  I have this picture in my head of exploring Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and its markets on my bike. It’s got a vintage bell and a market basket attached to the handlebars chock full of fresh organic local fruits and veggies.  I'm wearing a strappy sundress with a floppy hat and sunglasses doused in sunscreen with silken shaved legs.  This is a fantasy because I don’t wear sundress or anything that needs ironing. And I have a 5 o’clock shadow on my legs by 10am at the latest thanks to my Hungarian side. I don’t know anything about driving there, so biking might be my only source of transportation.  Oh my god, I need a bike this instant. 

Wait a minute.  I don’t know anything about bikes which is why I bought one without working brakes in the first place.    Ok, I should probably research on-line first and then come back.  Who am I kidding?  Craig will research it.  

   Hmmm.  What's bike riding without music? I should totally get an mp3 player.  Does Craig have one?  Maybe we can just share it?   There’s always cds.  I could get a new one and download it onto our shared mp3 player.  The Best of the Clash perhaps? Doesn’t it defeat the purpose to get a cd just to download it?  Plus, I don’t even know if we have a converter to change to Senegalize voltage.  Dammit I suck at hoarding. 

  So, I’m moving on to toiletries. What kind of sunscreen was it that didn't make my face breakout? Oh man, I'll have to go home and check the label to be sure. You get the picture. It went on and on.

Here's the final tally of purchases:

-One small tube of Neutrogena Sport spf 70 sun screen for the face. (I think this is the stuff that doesn't make me break out. I bought it for a trial purposes before I commit to a larger quantity. In the interim, they might have an spf 100 version.  I'm definitely gonna need that!)

-Four tubes of organic orange ginger lip balm. On SALE for $2.50/ per tube. I would have bought more, but four was all they had left. 

-Four tubes of St. Ives apricot facial scrub. On SALE for $2.89/per tube. This is a no brainer. It's on sale and if I don't want to use it on my face I figure I can always use it to scour the pots or bathtub with it.

-Ten bottles of Suave kids hair detangler.  Jade and Ember bear an uncanny resemblance to the kids in the desert from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome without it. I'm betting that Senegal does not have Suave hair detangler. It's a gut feeling they’d probably use something like liquefied pig lard for this purpose.

-Two packs of razors I randomly threw in the cart. My only qualification was that they not be pink, purple or mint green, colors which I despise. Not that it matters what color the razor is really.  Or even that I have one.   I’ll be in Africa and I might be the only one with bald pits and legs anyhow. 

  When I got to the check out and loaded my pathetic purchases on the belt, I remembered.  I forgot to pick up a birthday gift for one of the kids friend’s party tomorrow. Everyone knows that once you’ve got it on the belt, it’s too late.  Essentially, it’s yours already at this point, even though you haven’t paid for it.  And hell if I am going all the way back to toys.  I didn't even THINK about toys and what my kids would get other kids for their birthdays in Africa.
I have three bags. I hardly bought anything! What happened to hoarding?  I have some hoarding in my genes, I should be awesome.  But, I’m pathetic! 

  Tomorrow I'm going to call and schedule that dentist appointment. No.  Wait.  I'll call about the mammogram. Because getting I’d rather have my boobs squished than someone drill my teeth.  Unless I should finish painting the living room, fill out the applications to enroll the kids in school or start learning some French.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Beginning...

We are the sum of our experiences.

Where we live, who we meet, what we do, what happens to us.... whether these are positive or negative experiences, they shape who we are. It is in this vain that we are up and moving to West Africa with the Peace Corps. First Dakar, Senegal and then on to Rabat, Morocco. Craig will be the Medical Officer for 11 countries and taking care of the amazing people who volunteer their time to be in the Peace Corps. We are fortunate that Craig will be staff so we will 1. move the entire family 2. get paid (very important with 4 mouths to feed) 3. be able to send the kids to the International Schools in both countries and not have to home school them (hallelujah) and 4. not live in a hut eating slugs (although I really haven't confirmed the slug part...I am sure about the non-hut situation). So for 2 years we'll be on the adventure that we've always dreamed of and be able to give our kids a glimpse into how the other half lives and how truly fortunate we are. The kids are very excited and can't wait to surf in and explore Africa. I can't wait til they snub their noses at the culinary wonders I serve for dinner and we can actually walk outside the door and feed it to a starving kid in Africa! We hope to keep this blog updated so folks can see where we are at and what intestinal parasites we've acquired. We are waiting for our final offer from the Peace Corps which will happen after our medical and top secret clearances check out. (Gosh I hope we get secret Peace Corps decoder rings with the top secret security clearance!) So, as of now we do not have an actual moving date, stay tuned...


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