Packout: Afghanistan Edition


foreign service packout, HHE, UAB, moving overseas,Fourteen boxes and 1,163 pounds later, we are packed and ready to leave Kabul. Getting organized for this packout was not as complex as previous ones, since we basically only have one shipment (HHE) going from Kabul to Amman. (Plus our four suitcases which we’ll live out of during these last few days in Kabul, consultations in Washington, home leave in Virginia and Michigan and our first several weeks in Amman until our shipments arrive.)foreign service packout, HHE, UAB, moving overseas,We arrived to Kabul with about 1,335 pounds of stuff — 635 pounds of UAB and HHE from El Salvador and 760 pounds of consumables — so we shed some weight over the year. Most of that was probably consumables items we ate, used or donated, but we got rid of some clothes as well. Still, I thought we’d end up with a lot less. I don’t know what or how, but we somehow managed to accumulate a decent amount of stuff in our year here.I blame the carpets. We only bought three! Some of our colleagues are well into the teens and twenties when it comes to their carpet habit. I’m just saying.foreign service packout, HHE, UAB, moving overseas,We also bought a few lapis and ceramic bowls (some of these are gifts).In terms of getting ready for our packout, we basically just had to organize things into three categories: to pack (HHE), to pack (suitcases) and to leave behind (donate/trash). The leave-behind category included all the extra food we gave to friends/donated and worn clothes/shoes that really wouldn’t be acceptable to wear publicly anywhere but the compound (and even then, questionable).foreign service packout, HHE, UAB, moving overseas,A few well-marked drawers and closet doors, and we were good to go. It took under three hours to complete our packout, whereas in El Salvador it took two full days. One more hurdle crossed. We are almost done!When’s the last time you moved?

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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