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It’s a wonderful weekend here in the BellaDella household! Within the next week, we are departing for the Uz. I’ve been lurking and commenting on occasion, but I’ve kept most of the crazy to myself. People have been going through some hard stuff around here and my complaining about packing just didn’t seem to be warranted!

So in the past few months, I/we have:

  • Graduated from the main technical training (that was super easy).
  • Got nominated by peers and instructors as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of my 10 person class. Being the only female, I was proud.
  • Completed some other interesting training, including a counter threat course where I got to do all kinds of driving stuff.
  • Gone to the vet with all the animals no less than 3 times each. This was to get them checked out and make sure they were up to date on everything in preparation for their international health certificate. We ended up changing vets after that because they were less than helpful.
  • After we found an error on Freya’s records (we thought everything was OK), we scheduled a same-day visit at a cat-only clinic and found out they are ON. THE. BALL. with international travel stuff. I should note that we found this error on day 31 before departure. The shot needed to be administered before day 30.
  • Had a panic about whether the dogs shots were valid on day 30 before travel as well. Luckily, I was able to confirm that information.
  • Changed the mode of travel for all animals to Cargo. Then have been dealing with a pet shipper that takes 2-3 days to get back to me on everything.
  • Spent the weekend back at my dad’s house, driving around and spending time with everyone before we leave. Oh yes, and shopping for a lot of clothes and alcohol (tax free).
  • Have been spending A LOT of money on consumables and other things needed to go overseas. Some things we can get in the commissary but it’ll be expensive and maybe not the exact kind we’re used to. Other things we just can’t get on the local market because they don’t get US imports. So lots of Ragu Chunky tomato, onion and garlic spaghetti sauce, salsa and shampoo.
  • We sold both our cars and purchased a used car.
  • On a (not so much) whim, started Invisalign with a DC dentist who got them to rush it and is OK with me taking enough retainers to last a year, or until I get back. My teeth each have very separate opinions about this right now.

So that brings us to the past week or so. We packed out everything from the apartment this past week so now it’s just the furniture that was provided for us, clothes and some random stuff. Anything left will be mailed overseas. The only thing we can’t mail are liquids over 16oz, so our luggage has enough to last a month or two.

It’s going to be rough dropping off the animals and worrying about them, but I know they’ll be in good hands. They’re going Lufthansa all the way there and will be spending the weekend in Germany at their animal lounge. The number of flights will be limited to 2 and the travel time will be shorter. Though Jax won’t be with us, he’ll get lots of loving, I’m sure.

We have our visa’s, we’re spending a day in Frankfurt and then we’ll officially be in the Uz. It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks, getting there, getting to know a whole brand new job/organization/culture/city/country.

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