Part 2, Departure plan in place..Step by step process…Handling of leftover supplies…

It would be ideal if we could use all of the foodstuffs, cleaning supplies, and paper products that we acquired when spending up to three months at each location. Each time we move into a new location, we’ve found that we spend a fair sum to stock the new home with the basic necessities. 

Our goals are simple; don’t be wasteful and, don’t be wasteful with our money. However, we must admit that we’ll be leaving many items behind that are both impractical and costly to pack.

Although we try to gauge how much of any item we’ll use, it is frustrating to have purchased grocery items we never used, ingredients for a specific recipe that we never made but purchased with the best intentions. It is those very items that often filled our kitchen cabinets anyway, stuff we may never use, eventually to be donated or thrown away? Besides, no matter where we live, I’m not exempt from the occasional “impulse purchase.” 

When we arrived here, I jumped at the chance to purchase a large bottle of organic “real” vanilla extract for KES $520.50, US $5.76.  ‘d hoped to find unsweetened “real” chocolate so I could make our favorite sugar free, low carb fudge. Never found the chocolate. Never opened the bottle of vanilla. So it goes. I won’t bore you with several other such items we’ll be leaving behind. 

Then, there’s the bigger expense that we’ve incurred while in Kenya, the purchase of “scratch-off” cards for data to “top off” our Kenya SIM cards for our two MiFi devices for Internet connectivity. These are useless to us once we leave Kenya. They don’t work outside the country, typical for SIM cards in most countries, tricky for us world travelers. 

Another area of concern is the disposal of clothing that has either worn out or we’ve found to have no occasion to wear.

The question for today:  How will we dispose of leftover, unused, unwanted, and no longer relevant items which we have no desire or intention of packing?

The food items will be left behind informing Hesborn or Jeremiah to take any of the items they’ll use and either leave the balance for future renters or if they choose, for Hans and Jeri.

When we left Italy, we’d posted photos of a pile of clothing and shoes we’d left behind for Lisa and Luca, the kindly landlords, to either keep, give to family or friends, or to donate which they gladly offered when we mentioned this dilemma. 

The clothing, yet to be sorted, is much smaller now that we’ve narrowed our clothing down to one large suitcase each. Some worn items will be tossed. In a concerted effort to reduce the weight of our bags, we’ve decided to ship ahead a few boxes utilizing the Ukunda post office that will allow us to insure the contents of the boxes.  Alfred will drive us to Ukunda on Friday to ship them off.

At this point, we have no idea as to the cost to ship these boxes within the continent. The fact that we’re willing to ship them by the slowest possible method to save on the cost should result in our receiving them within a month or so, which is fine for us. 

Why not toss these items? The biggest issue is the difficulty in finding clothing to fit me. I’m tall and wear an odd size. My inseam is 35″ (88 cm). Do I want to take the time to find a pair of pants or dress long enough not to embarrass myself? No. In all of the countries we’ve visited thus far, the women are shorter than I (here’s a chart of the average heights of men and women worldwide).

In only nine months I’ll need the to-be-shipped clothing items and shoes for two upcoming cruises. One of the highlights of cruising for us is dining in the main dining areas which typically don’t allow jeans or shorts. 

We don’t want to be forced to eat at the buffet for dinner due to our lack of proper clothing, which we’ve only done twice on our eight prior cruises, each time, much to our dismay; once when returning late from an excursion with the main dining room closed and another, on the night of a Minnesota Vikings Playoff game when we loaded trays filled with food to take to our cabin to watch the game. (The TV signal was lost almost entirely throughout the game and, surprisingly, ha, Minnesota lost).

Yes, I know in a prior post, I’d mentioned my willingness to forgo style and selection in my attire. But when on cruises, one surely desires to get their money’s worth of the meals already included in the fare in the main dining areas. Were it not for this fact, I’d gladly dispose of my few remaining dresses, and matching sandals. In any case, we’re shipping all of those. 

We’d already ditched all of our “formal attire” for the dress-up nights, falling back on our basic inventory for those evenings since formal wear is not mandatory on most cruises. 

In essence, it’s clothing and shoes that we’re shipping. I have six pairs of shoes in my possession and my beloved safari boots. That’s all I own: one pair of Keds leather slip ons, one pair of tan 3″ heels, one pair of water shoes, plus three pairs of Clark’s sandals: black, beige and white. (I left my bulky workout shoes in Italy.  These can easily be replaced once we’re near a health club again).

Tom, on the other hand, has four pairs of shoes: one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of water shoes and two pairs of Cole Haan, one dressy, one casual, and of course, his safari boots. 

Start adding up shoes alone and they consume an entire carry on bag. Ah, the challenges of stuff, continues to play a role in our lives, although considerably less than it used to.

The end result of our clothing issues;  we’re shipping ahead enough weight in shoes and clothing, weighing everything on our portable scale, in order to avoid paying excess baggage fees when we fly to South Africa a week from today. Once these boxes are shipped, we’ll share how much we paid for the shipping.

The final items that we’ve contemplated over these past few weeks, was the remaining data left on our SIM cards on my MiFis. As of today, Tom has 8.7 gigabytes, remaining and I have 9.1 gigabytes remaining, more than enough for Tom to watch the Minnesota Vikings game and for me to download several TV shows and movies. 

We carefully tracked our data usage since arriving in Kenya, in an effort to ensure we didn’t leave the country with too much paid-for but unused data. 

We’ve determined, via our recordkeeping that our combined average daily usage is approximately .5 gigabytes resulting in our ability to save enough data for the layover at the Nairobi airport.  Once we arrive in Johannesburg our devices will no longer work containing the Kenya SIM cards.

We’re pleased that in the past month, it wasn’t necessary to purchase additional data by carefully monitoring our usage:  no videos other than downloaded TV shows for our evening entertainment and Tom’s Minnesota Vikings games. Avoiding the download of Facebook videos was most instrumental in us having ample data to get us through this next week. 

Yes, we still may have unused data remaining at the end, which we hope to use to download movies and TV shows.

So, there it is folks.  The process of winding down appears more complicated than it is. It requires careful thought and planning, neither of which is foreign to us.  As we maneuver our way to yet another country in our ongoing quest for exploration and wonder, we can smile, knowing that we’re doing everything we can to make the transition as stress-free as possible.

Comments and responses Part 2, Departure plan in place..Step by step process…Handling of leftover supplies…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi from Pat,

    Thanks so much for the encouragement and help in changing our diets for a healthier lifestyle. I definitely will buy Dr. David Perlmutter's Grain Brain book.

    It is funny how you say "in only 9 months"; it seems time moves differently for you maybe when you are living in 3 month increments.

    In regards to your packing, I can see how it would be frustrating to have to figure out what to do with all of the leftovers. I am like that too, I do not like to waste anything. But it is nice that you can give things to your new friends and neighbors. I am sure they appreciate everything. It is amazing what you can do without when you really have to. But I can't imagine only owning enough clothes to fit in one large suitcase! Congratulations for that accomplishment.

    When my youngest daughter was living in India for two years, she had trouble finding clothes to fit her. Because she was in a Muslim area, she was required to wear a certain type of clothing along with the head veil. Well, she is 5'10" tall, so you can imagine how impossible it was for her to find anything that would fit. She finally found a lady tailor to custom make all her clothes. She brought some of them home with her and they are very pretty and nice. She said the most she paid for any of them was $4.00. Can you believe that price? And she said the ladies loved doing things for her. But when she would go out to the stores or walking, she would see the guys pointing and remarking how tall she is. They were surprised when they discovered that she could speak their language. Chris said it was quite funny.

    Today was another of those trying days. I decided to vacuum the coils underneath the refrigerator, since that is supposed to be done on a pretty regular basis. Well, then I pulled the refrigerator out to clean behind it, and I don't know how it happened but the copper tubing that connected the water to the ice maker, sprung a leak. In no time almost half the kitchen was flooded with water shooting out. Oh, what a mess. So I called my faithful and dependable and talented husband to come quickly. He tried shutting off just the valve to the ice maker, but because it is old, he could not get it to turn off the water. So he had to turn the water off for the entire house. Then it was a struggle to get the copper tubing disconnected. He finally cut it off and then went to the hardware store to buy new tubing. In the meantime, Chris came home from working at the horse ranch to take a shower before going out to dinner with friends. Needless to say, she did not get her shower.

    Dan got back with the tubing but we found another leak in a different spot. But he did get the water shutoff valve replaced so he could turn off the water just to the refrigerator. So he turned the water back on for the rest of the house. It got too late to install the new tubing. But we don't need the ice maker now anyway. At least we have water. So his day is planned for him tomorrow too. There goes his Church attendance in the morning.

    I tell you all of this to maybe make you feel better when you experience some trying days.

    Good night or should I say, Good morning.

    Pat and Dan

  2. Jessica Reply

    It's good morning here! You are sleeping, I hope, as I write back to you. I loved reading the story about Chris living in India. Hard to believe how well she adapted to the language and clothing (especially at her height!). When we were in Abu Dhabi and went to the mosque I had to wear an "abaya" and Tom a "thobe" (see post of May 30, 2013) which was too short and didn't fit me correctly. It was so hot, it kept falling off plus I was sick with an awful virus I'd picked up on the ship. It was one tough day. I sure give Chris credit for her time in India as it was a valuable piece of her life that will remain with her forever.

    Oh, I feel your pain about the broken copper line under the fridge. Although we have other issues, it's not hard to forget the constant maintenance, cleaning and repairs that are a part of home ownership. I doubt we'll ever want to go through those challenges again.

    Sorry but your frustration doesn't make me feel better for our trying days. It just makes me feel badly that you and Dan have to work so hard during your retirement. I sure understand why so many retirees move into maintenance free retirement communities, although this never would be for us. Let me know how it goes!

    I'm so glad you are going to read Dr. Perlmutter's book, Grain Brain. It is important for Dan to "buy into" the science so please highlight the book as you read and share it with him. Tom would never read such a book either but I sure jammed it down his throat and continue to do so. It seems that men of our generation are less interested in health science than the younger generation.

    Today, I will pack a little. It's so hot, it's hard to do a lot at a time. Now I'll write the post for today, then chop and dice for taco salads for tonight (too hot for hot food) and then tackle an hour of packing taking breaks sitting in front of the fan.

    Have a nice Sunday! Thanks for writing to us! Tom reads every message also and enjoys it along with me.
    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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