Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Last-minute preparations

Last day before flying out! Perhaps predictably, these last few days have been very busy. Most of it has been purely logistical.

  • Getting follow-up immunization shots. I am now mostly immunized against common illnesses in Central America. Among other things, you can stab me a few times with a rusty knife, and I will still be OK (possibly unhappy, but physically OK).

  • Printing out handy docs. We will be meeting up at the hotel, so we each will need a copy of the hotel reservations to get through customs. We may also need each other's itineraries (in case the customs folks give us trouble) and maps to the hotel...

  • Mailing teaching materials to El Salvador. Note to future mailers of packages: You will need to fill out American customs forms for your goodies, and the items will be held at the Salvadorean customs for me to pick up.

  • Scanning important documents. We are storing all of the actual copies at Geoff's parents' place, but we will be bringing digital versions with us. That includes teaching papers, medical reports, my diploma and transcripts, etc.

  • Doing last rounds of laundry, packing, taking measurements and weights of packages. Even though it differs a bit from airline to airline, generally speaking, we are each allowed two check-in bags weighing 50 lbs, with "linear measurements" of 62 inches or less. Linear measurements indicate length + width + height. Because of the various constraints, we have had to change up our plans and go with regular suitcases instead of the sexy duffel bags. In the end, our suitcases are too wide to sit directly on top of our scales, so Geoff has had to weigh himself standing on top of the scales with and without holding the luggage, in order to find out their weights. It's a good technique to use, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation! :)

  • Storing things at Geoff's parents' place. There are a few sentimental things I needed to keep, like Frankie Manning's signed autobiography, my HKN scrapbook, some baby pictures, and my old records. Besides that, Geoff is storing some clothes and shoes, his guitar, and various paperwork.

  • Booking a hotel. We will be staying temporarily at the Tazumal Guesthouse, hopefully only for a few days while we look for a permanent apartment. It's a pretty cheap place -- $40 a day between the two of us. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they will have reliable internet and allow Geoff to do some work while we are in transit. If you don't hear from us within a week after our arrival in El Salvador, you'll know where to begin looking for missing bodies. --Just kidding! Sort of. harhar.

  • Buying medical supplies. It looks like both CVS and Duane Reade have stopped selling the facial lotion that I use. A bit worrisome, but I bought an alternative type instead. Hopefully it will not make me break out while I am down in San Salvador. We have both replenished our supplies of contact lenses. I have also gone and refilled my inhaler meds. Even though my Albuterol is almost out and so is my prescription for that type of emergency inhaler, I think I will be OK to have just my Advair and the allergy meds for a while, as long as we don't move into a cat farm.

  • Figuring out our insurance plans. Geoff researched various options of international insurance plans, and has hopped on board with Goodhealth already. I will be covered by EduCare, which seems to have a pretty good coverage both within the States and in El Salvador. The best part is that the school covers 75% of the premium for me. The bad part is that dental and vision are not covered. I may have to look around for a vision insurance when I get there. (It's not a big deal in the short term, but I do need to go to the ophthalmologist regularly to check up on my retina. There is a chance that I could need emergency surgery some day, despite my optimism...)

  • Cleaning Geoff's apartment. Living in a transitional place with transitional roommates and no lease is great for commitment-phobes like us, but as you can imagine, the bathroom is grimy! ugh. This was definitely my least favorite part of moving.

  • Bonus: Geoff has had to spend hours dealing with some unexpected technical snafoo. :( Thankfully, it all worked out beautifully in the end.

...But, with all of that said, I think we are finally, finally ready to go. This is where the craziness starts!!


PS. What do you think we are doing in NYC on the eve of our departure? --We are heading up to midtown to grub on Chicken and Rice, and then heading over to Lincoln Center to buy Spanish-English phrasebooks and to watch the midnight showing of Harry Potter! :) There is no doubt that we are going to miss NYC... what a great city.

1 comment:

  1. If I stabbed you with a rusty knife, you might not get tetanus, but I still think you would bleed to death. (Woo! No tetanus)

    Have a safe journey!