Monday night, February 26, there was pizza, sodas and desserts at my parents' house, PLUS 9 wonderful friends from my Bible study group and my Starbucks friends. They joined me for a packing party. I'm so grateful for their help - it was invaluable - and I'm humbled that they gave up their evening for me.
They got my bedroom furniture and a few other pieces packaged to be loaded on the container. This meant that they had to wrap each item in cardboard, bubble wrap, packing blankets and large plastic wrap. It has to be protected so well because everything will be loaded and unloaded several times and traveling in a sea container over the ocean to get to Haiti then trucked out to where I'll be living. It was a lot of work. They also worked at drilling holes in the sides of the lids of my finished bins and zip tying them shut. Then each and every item (furniture, bin, box - everything) had to be labeled and numbered. I have to provide a list or manifest for customs in Haiti, thus the labeling and numbering. The list will also help me know the basics of what is in each bin/box as I unpack. Moving overseas is not for the faint of heart!
Everyone worked hard, but we also had fun. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
The 40' container (the size of a semi-truck) will be dropped at the RMI office this coming Monday, March 5 and the loading will take place on Tuesday, March 6. Wednesday, the next day, it will be officially sealed and picked up. I've been working hard wrapping and packaging things, packing bins and boxes and doing my final purchasing. It's hard to know how to plan for the next 4 years - what will I need, etc. I have to pack everything except what I'll have in my suitcases and carry-on luggage. Those suitcases is what I'll live out of for the next month.
My household items won't fill up the containter of course, so RMI missionaries, several churches and RMI in general will be using the opportunity to get some things to Haiti that can't be sent down through the mail. They're putting supplies, tires, motorcycles and quite a bit of other things in there, too.
It's shaping up to be a stressful 2 weeks. I'm getting anxious about forgetting something - my mind is all over the place!
After the container goes I'll be a bit more free for meals and/or coffee with folks before I get on the plane April 6. I'll be in Tampa several times. There's going to be a lot of goodbyes. Not going to be shy about saying that it'll be hard. But at the same time it'll be good too - I'm going to be a missionary in Haiti! My dream and calling is coming true. Pray for me during this time!!