Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It's Christmas in August!

For those of you readers who have been overseas for the State Department before, this blog post will seem like very old news. But, hallelujah, our UAB arrived! This was 800 lbs of stuff that we sent airfreight from Virginia very shortly before we left for Jakarta. It took a few weeks, and things were delayed by the Lebaran/Idul Fitri holiday, but it came! It came!

This is our first overseas post, so this is all new to us. After weeks and weeks of using the standard issue coffee pot, dealing without the use of a great deal of our valued electronics, and only living with the clothes we could bring with us on the plane, you start to think that it will always be this way.

Not to be ungrateful at all. There is a welcome kit waiting in your house when you arrive, and it has plates and cups, kitchen utensils, even a nice but small TV. Everything you need to live a normal life. The fact that State makes these things available to you until all your things arrive is wonderful. But all that stuff isn't yours. It's not the things you chose for yourself or got used to over the years. Things like the Keurig coffee maker that changed your life when you got it last Christmas. Or the iMac that replaced the laptop that has been doing yeoman duty since we got to Jakarta. Or the slob clothes you haven't been able to wear since you packed your bags.

Just seeing all these things again creates a feeling of familiarity and comfort that is hard to describe. Last night we slept with our own blanket and pillow again. If you've ever been away from home a long time and then come back to sleep in your own bed, you know how good that is even if you truly enjoyed the trip.

Well, it's all here now. And this is just a downpayment on when the next huge load called HHE arrives later. When that one comes it will include all of our cra-I mean valued possessions that we haven't seen since joining the Foreign Service. Churches and NGO's throughout Indonesia will be flush with donations when that arrives, let me tell you. But for now, it's Christmas in August around here.