Getting our stuff overseas

not my kids, not my shipment-but this gives you the idea

This has been one of the biggest stressors/pains of the process. How you figure out what to take, how much of things you need to take, and how to get it fit in a box has been a two month-long process so far.

I started gathering items for the shipment in late March, and have continued to add to it, adjust it ever since then. Every box has probably been packed and repacked four or five times each. Each box had to be measured and weighed (which equaled me weighing myself and then picking up each box and weighing myself holding the boxes. I really hated that part. Those boxes are heavy and I don’t love my scale on a good day. The lightest box was 16 pounds and the heaviest was 53 pounds).

What’s going in the boxes:

Mind you, this shipment is supposed to be for the duration of the two years. We will have luggage when we go in August and then again the following August, but that’s a two bag per person limit with weight limits. I also consider myself fortunate that Guy will be going back and forth. I’m sure I’ll give him a list of things to bring each visit for us. I’ve yet to figure out for sure if I can get Amazon shipments to Dakar or the school-that will be key to birthdays and Christmas!

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Contact solution
  • razors
  • vitamins/supplements
  • towels
  • sheets
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • pots/pans
  • dishes, glasses, silverware, serving dishes
  • cooking utensils (which reminds me I need to pack hot pads and I have not done that)
  • brown sugar
  • vanilla
  • coffee beans
  • first aid kit
  • over-the-counter meds that we are used to having around
  • pictures for the walls
  • one box per child of things for their room
  • books-2 boxes
  • dog food
  • suncreen lotion
  • bug spray
  • pancake mix
  • battery operated clock

We were given a basics list from the school of what to bring and then I’ve also solicied advice from Facebook connections, bloggers I’ve be-friended (or maybe I should say they be-friended me since they are the ones doing all the answering with nothing in return), and soon-to-be colleagues at ISD. We can get many of the items that we are packing over there but many are either imported from France which equals very expensive or local and not of a quality that we are accustomed to. I am choosing to purchase my small electronics (such as coffee maker) over there, so it is the right voltage.

I’m sure I’m forgetting things that I have packed and I am also equally sure that I am forgetting things that I should have packed but have overlooked.

The shipment is going air freight which is good since June 1st is around the corner and I was told a light container load (LCL) would take 7 weeks to 4 months.

Quotes from companies for my shipment have been from $700 to $4000 and it was difficult to figure out what was best to go with – Did $700 equal a man-paddled canoe and $4000 equals the luxury Lexus of shipping? I finally decided to go with the company that ISD has had the most experience with-word of mouth is usually a safe bet.


About bestbookihavenotread

Kristine has been in education since 1993. She taught fourth grade in Ohio from 1993 - 2008. She has been a Curriculum Coordinator for four years. She is relocating to Dakar, Senegal to be the Director of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar in August 2012.
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