Friday, October 11, 2013

Our UAB Arrived! We Have Stuff!!!

Just as I was settling into living a minimalist existence (if you count living out of 6 suitcases as minimalist), and just as H-dawg was beginning to complain about wearing the same dress shirts to work for the 5th time in a row... our UAB showed up!!!

UAB: Unaccompanied Air Baggage

A big box of UAB

In layman's terms, this is the 450 pounds of stuff from our apartment in DC that got shipped "ultra-fast" to us in Guate to keep us going until we move into our permanent apartment and get our HHE shipment (House Hold Effects) which is on a slow boat steaming across the Caribbean. The UAB gets packed in humongous heavy-duty cardboard boxes, wrapped in brown paper, reinforced with metal bands, and stamped with "Embajada De Estados Unido Or De Americas Guatemala City Guatemala."

It took 4 weeks for UAB to get here once we arrived in country. Not what I'd define as ultra-fast, but maybe that's quick in gov-speak. Apparently shipments move slowly in the 3rd world because the US Government does not pay bribes.

This afternoon Hubby sent me a text saying our UAB would be delivered at 4pm. Perfect, I just so happen to have a hole in my schedule at 4pm today! A little blue van with 4 Guatemaltecos in matching blue jumpsuits pulls up to the front of the hotel and wrestles the 200-pound boxes out onto the sidewalk. They move them one at a time upstairs in the tiny elevator, then into our suite where they remove the wire bands and cut open the tops. Inside is our stuff, gracias a Dios, all clean, glowing and smelling like it's been shut in a box for 4 weeks. The head mover guy has me sign his paperwork in 5 different places, and with a weak handshake, leaves me in peace with our stuff.

I unpacked the 2 humongous boxes in about 10 minutes, saving all the wrapping paper and pushing the boxes to the corner of the room for our next move since people say good cardboard here is hard to find.

Hubby went a little crazy with his work clothes and shoes and there isn't enough room in the closet for all of it. I apparently packed just a few additional clothes and shoes but did not pack any books or Spanish materials, bummer.

But hands-down the best things I unwrapped were my most favorite Murray Carter kitchen knife and my lovely wooden cutting board that we got as a wedding present 9 years ago. Finally I don't have to saw my veggies into shreds with crappy steak knives!!!

Other smart things we packed: yoga mats, vitamins and knife-sharpening supplies.

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