Packout Prep: Afghanistan Edition


foreign service apartment, foreign service housing, embassy housing, kabul, afghanistanWe had our pre-packout survey last week, meaning we are one step closer to PCS-ing (Permanent Change of Station) out of this place. The pre-packout survey consisted of the movers coming to our apartment and looking at our stuff in order to estimate our total weight and how many boxes they’ll need.We are entitled to 450 pounds of UAB (unaccompanied air baggage) from Kabul to our home leave point in the U.S. and/or from there to Amman, and 2,000 pounds of HHE (household effects) from Kabul to Amman, with a maximum of of 7,200 pounds total of HHE from Kabul, storage and/or the U.S. to Amman. Remember all our stuff from El Salvador? Most of it (85 boxes weighing roughly 2,800 pounds) went into temporary storage.afghanistan shopping, afghanistan bazaar, afghan benchWhile we picked up some carpets and a few pieces of furniture here in Afghanistan, I don’t think we’ll come anywhere near the 7,200-pound limit. We shipped 20 boxes (about 330 pounds of UAB and 300 pounds of HHE) to Kabul from El Salvador, but some of that consists of clothes we’re donating/discarding.And those 760 pounds of consumables we shipped to Kabul? Well, we didn’t come close to consuming all of it, but we did run out or come close to running out of some items (laundry detergent, shampoo/conditioner, Trader Joe’s soups). At the other end of the extreme, we didn’t use or need a lot of stuff we brought: Diet Coke? Whoever told us/wherever we read that sometimes there is no Diet Coke at the DFAC was wrong. I mean, there is no DIET Coke, but there is Coke Light AND Coke Zero. More than enough. Always.consumables shopping, kabul, afghanistan, foreign service, packoutWe have been giving away to friends some of our food items, and there are consumables swaps/donation tables where we can get rid of the rest. It won’t be wasted.I’m looking forward to having our bed, all my kitchen stuff and our other possessions (like most of my wardrobe) with us to make our new home in Amman feel like home. I admit I’m a little nervous about seeing how well things held up in storage. I’ve heard horror stories about moth-eaten clothing and mold-ruined everything. In the end, it’s just stuff. (Although I do love stuff and things.)Afghanistan-Shopping-1I wouldn’t be terribly disappointed if I had to buy myself a whole new wardrobe. Also, for household items, there’s an IKEA in Jordan. I repeat: IKEA. In. Jordan.Our packout is next week. We have a few days to continue getting organized. It won’t be as difficult as leaving the U.S. or El Salvador because we just don’t have as much stuff here. Wish us luck!What’s your favorite furniture/home goods store?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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