now what

Now that Flynn is here and we’re starting to settle in, there are a lot of logistics to take care of. Apparently one does not simply move to Africa without some degree of preparation. Our list of things to do includes:

  • Get Flynn’s birth certificate.
  • Add Flynn to the travel orders.
  • Apply for Flynn’s diplomatic passport (after we receive form DS-1640 of course).
  • Receive Flynn’s medical clearance.
  • Receive Alex’s new postpartum medical clearance.
  • Get visas for everyone.
  • Schedule our pack out.
  • Book our flights to Benin.
  • Get all sorts of vaccinations.
  • Buy our consumables.
  • Make a final decision on Abbey’s accommodations.
  • Figure out our nanny situation in Benin.
  • Fill out the paperwork for our per diem reimbursement.
  • Schedule some long-delayed dental and eye doctor appointments.
  • Buy a few last-minute things we want in Benin.
  • And, oh yeah, take care of a newborn.

Fortunately we had some time before Flynn arrived to get organized. Unfortunately, until he was here, there wasn’t much we could actually do except read the regulations and make a detailed timeline of everything that had to be done (yes, I brought these regulations and our timeline to the hospital so we could get a quick start on checking some things off our list).

So far, we’ve managed to make a small but promising dent in our mountain of things to do. The good thing about having a newborn is that suddenly 4am becomes a reasonable time to do some work. But I’d trade that extra work time for a few more hours of sleep any day.

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6 Responses to now what

  1. I wish y’all the very best of luck getting everything done. 🙂 What’s the best way to get in touch with you guys off-blog?

  2. Meaghan says:

    I’ll be very interested to hear how Abbey’s transport works out! I’m hoping to get a posting in Africa and I have a Great Dane, so I’ve been extensively researching any and all overseas dog-moves with great interest.

  3. Alex says:

    Meaghan, The biggest complicating factor for us with getting the dog to Africa is the “Fly America” rule diplomats have to abide by. Do you have something similar in Canada? Basically, we have to take the cheapest American carrier. Unfortunately for us that’s Delta, and they have restrictions that make traveling with pets in the summer very difficult. (They wont take pets if the temperature is above 85 F, which it is most July days.) Neither United nor Continental have that temperature restriction, but the flights are around twice or three times as much, so it’s unlikely we’d get permission to take them. Basically what it looks like it’s going to come down to is taking Delta and gambling that the temperature will be low enough, or using a pet expeditor service that will ship the dog without us (super expensive, although we’d get reimbursed for some of it).

  4. Meaghan says:

    Oh, I see how that would complicate things! No, as far as I know, we’re able to take any airline – I don’t think Air Canada even flies everywhere that we have posts.

    I have a feeling that I’ll end up having to use a pet expeditor service simply because Gatsby exceeds the weight limits for most airlines that I’ve researched so far, and we’ll need a custom crate for him, which some of the services will supply.

  5. Kristin says:

    You might want to reconsider your purchase of consumables. ELSO (the European Logistical Support Office) has a program where you can order form a large commissary in Germany (paying commissary prices) and ELSO will air freight the consumables to your post in Africa. I have never done this but did get the advice from a DCM who had done 4 tours in AF and mentioned that it was awesome. The DCM said that it had taken only about 3 weeks for his consumables to arrive. You can look up the information on the intranet. I am really looking forward to using this after I get to post (they also do alcohol, if that is something that you consume).

  6. Carolyn says:

    Just arrived in Benin, baby in tow. We’re here to answer any questions if needed! Also, sorry about the dog travel issues. Matt and I just realized that “policy” ourselves this time around. It wasn’t an issue when we came in November…

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