destination cameroon update

I am going to write this post and not edit it at all. I take too much time rereading and rewriting and editing my thoughts. This post is just to keep you all informed of where we are with our progress on our move.

Here are all the things that we have been doing and working on:

  • We bought a “new” car, a 2007 Toyota RAV4 with 4WD.  We hear you need a 4WD vehicle if you want to go anywhere in Cameroon.  So we bought into the idea of being able to travel, bit the bullet and bought a car.  It was the longest process with so many bumps in the road but we have a great car, lots of good lessons learned and are ready to explore the beaches, mountains and jungles.
  • Awww a TV… so when Black Friday came around we decided that we would bite another bullet… hey, we’re both working right?… and get a new TV. In our almost 5 years of marriage we’ve owned two TVs: the first one we had for our first year was a little 12″ that I bought from my first summer job when I was 12 and the second is a 19″ flat screen, not plasma or anything like that it’s defiantly a big box, that our friend gave us bc he was clearing out all of his old electronics.   So buying a TV that would work anywhere in the world is not easy. No store carries mulitsystem TVs.  You have to buy them from these sketchy websites, which I guess aren’t so sketchy because other FS ppl have bought their electronics there, but still… then if you want a TV you’ll want a DVD player which also has to be a multisystem one, which of course are $100 more than a normal one. Then if you want to take those and all your other electronics overseas you’ll need adapters, converters, UPS units and transforms.  To find out how many of these things, what ever they are, you have to add up all the wattage of your electronics, figure out where each one will be in your new house and then plan out where you will want each thing. So, that brings me to the other morning where I was counting up the wattage in all our electronics. Who knew…
  • We’ve changed banks. That’s all I know. It works overseas with out charges, it has ATMs everywhere, I can use my iPhone… if I can use my iPhone… to deposit checks… strange… so that’s all cool. But that means that I have to go through the hoops of actually transferring all our money to that account, closing our old bank account, moving all of our automatic deposits and withdrawals from our old bank to our new bank and ordering debit cards and checks from our new bank.
  • We have filled out our housing request. What that means is that supposedly they will try to fit us with a house that fits what we would like. We are currently living with 3 adults a baby and a 4 year old for the second half of the day in our 950 sq ft house.  So… anything bigger than that will be very nice. They have pools in some of the houses. We’d rather not have one, they cost $1,000 a year to maintain and are probably a big hazard with a little walker (Aydan). They all are furnished, have the big appliances, minus a dishwasher and they all come with a water distiller. They are all very close to the embassy, which will be nice bc it has, besides Patrick’s office obviously, a gym, pool and a health center.  They each are fenced in with their own 24/7 guard as well. crazy.
  • Planning for packing consumables has been my main in the back ground task I’ve been working on. I’ve made a few spreadsheets with all the things that are not provided in Yaounde and have estimated how much we will need for two years and how much it will cost. I just found out last night that you can make an order to Costco and they will get everything ready for you and the shipping folk will just pick it up from Costco for you. I was worried that we would need to find space for all 2,500 lbs of consumables we are going to pack. We can save that 2,500 lbs to be shipped to us half way through our tour if we’d like. I think, because we don’t have much of our own furniture and stuff to send over, we’ll do that and pack a lot of consumables with the furniture and things that we are having shipped to us. This will hopefully be enough to last us 2 years. They say they have most of what you want or use here but that it is very expensive, so hopefully we can save this way. We want to live as locally as possible while we are there but I want certain American comforts… maybe some Dorritos now and again with out having to pay an arm and a leg.
  • We have a pile of paperwork to fill out this weekend to get our new passports and visas. I suppose the more we dive into that the more stories I’ll have for you. As of now, I think Patrick and I have to refill out our passport info even though we already have one. I think that is a waste of paper and time. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it though… well I’m hoping anyway.
  • We were issued our tickets last week. We have the perfect itinerary right now but it still needs to be approved and even then it could be changed the day of the flight. The good news that is a for sure deal is that they will also pay for Aydan to have a seat on the plane. So she can hang out in her car seat as much as she can stand it.

Those are the major things we are sorting through right now. There are a lot of things on the back burner like…

  • I have to get tickets back to Washington state for Aydan and me for before we leave so that we can have some good home time before the big move.
  • Thinking through if Aydan and I should come back to Washington state for a wedding this summer that we’ve both been asked to be in.
  • Finalizing our will
  • Figuring out student loan repayment stuff
  • We’ve been given a shipping address. It’s actually an address in Dulles with some info about where we are going and our names. So that’s great that what ever mail is sent to us the sender doesn’t have to pay to have it shipped all the way to Cameroon. Which also means that I can get magazine subscriptions and stuff from Amazon easier than I thought.
  • Plan all of the things we’ll need/want for Aydan for the next two and a half years… a bigger car seat, potty training stuff, toys, clothes and so on. Sure, I can always order things but with the State Department shipping stuff for us now for free I think I’ll take what I can get now.

Well that’s about all for now. I’m doing this while working almost full time, thankfully with a job that is stress free and allows me to have more mornings off to get stuff done. Oh and I have to maintain a clean, organized, food filled, joyful home in the process, with 3 adults and a baby in a 950 sq ft house. Pray for us. ; )

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7 responses to “destination cameroon update

  1. You forgot to add…
    SPending hours compiling this blog post 🙂
    Incredible detail, and although I admit I scanned certain parts, I do like your writing style and I particulalry love the image on your header. Is that your baby and ring?
    Thanks for sharing

    • haha, it really didn’t take me that long to write. thanks for reading, even if it was just scanning most of it. : )
      yes, that’s my daughters toes with our rings on them.

  2. I’m guessing you might be referring to USAA? If so, they are utterly fabulous. We joined up with them (to include insurance) in 2007 and have never been happier. Their customer service is incredible and that iPhone app is a lifesaver (just be sure you have decent lighting). Good luck with your continued preparations!

  3. this is great, thanks. Could you share the website you used to buy the TV? And what bank you chose? good luck getting it all done.

  4. i’m glad you specified that the person you were concerned about stumbling into the pool was aydan & not patrick. i laughed. ox

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