I’ve now discovered the downside of “bring everything” — you have to unpack “everything.”

As in any major move we had cluttered and decluttered our home multiple times, making after-hours runs to the Goodwill storefront and leaving things in the stealth of night that we thought were still good but were afraid they would turn away.  I never saw cameras but just in case ice and snow obscured our license plate numbers.  Our thinking was if Goodwill wouldn’t take the stuff, and it wasn’t irreparably damaged, then what would we do with it?  We couldn’t throw “good stuff” away.  However, was it really worth hauling it to Africa at some huge carbon footprint cost just because I know lots of people would be thrilled to have our “throwaways” and “junk”?  We thought Goodwill was better suited to grapple with this question and probably had a mechanism for disposing of things not good enough for their store but too good to throw away.  (Okay, really, we were cowards and just didn’t want to deal with it.)

We’ve (I’ve) just scratched the surface of unpacking everything and already I’m amazed about what the movers packed.  There were four movers in the house and they moved through rooms like worker ants, never stopping to ask questions, packing everything in their way.  Despite giving instructions about things that should stay (like toilet paper), it looks like we got EVERYTHING that was left in the house.  Here are some photos of things that got an all-expense-paid-trip halfway around the world.

Toilet paper.








Trash (at the bottom of a hamper no less, protected with paper).







Old sponges.
















Spices (probably many expired ones!).







Dried cherries and berries from Meijer’s.








Tuna and anchovies.


(By the way, the world is separated into two groups -> those who like anchovies and those who don’t.  If you don’t like anchovies, stop, don’t read this blog anymore, we’re anchovy people and don’t find non-anchovy-people very interesting.)




Pepto bismal-coated Tums (the pepto bismal lid wasn’t on tight and leaked all over, but must have done it early in the voyage because it was dried hard by the time we opened the box).








Papers attached to the fridge with magnets.

Here someone tells me that I took 1st place in the women master’s division of a duathlon (run/bike/run race).  (They call me Jayne here.  Lots of people do this; they mix up the Kimm and the Jayne.)  What’s funny is that the reason I got 1st in the women age 40 and over division (the “master’s” division) is that I was the ONLY woman over age 40. (Barely, mind you…well, barely if I live to 100.)  I really came in second-to-last!  But, as a memento of my “win” I had this on our fridge in Michigan.




I’m sure as we continue to unpack we’ll find many “surprises” that made it to this side of the world.

So far, only two things of significance are broke.  One is a desk leg that must have got bent and then cracked.



This was an old desk that I had as a child and I think can be fixed pretty easily with some glue and maybe an extra screw for support.



The broken item I’m REALLY bummed about is my glass bandsaw.  This is a $500 piece of machinery and I was really looking forward to getting my glass studio up and running.

You can see here that the whole bottom portion, that holds the water is cracked (glass needs water to be cut or it gets too hot and will crack).  It’s amazing, our super-fine wine glasses made it intact (because they were wrapped properly) but someone failed to secure the different parts of the bandsaw with paper so in the jostling it got broke.





We had insurance so I filed a claim today.  I hope they replace the machine AND pay for shipping it out here.  So far we’ve been pretty happy with the movers, they’ve really tried hard to accommodate us, so we’ll see.





About Kimm X Jayne

Gravatar Photograph from the exceptionally talented Ben Heine. http://www.flickr.com/photos/benheine/3794765860/
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12 Responses to Unpacking

  1. Christy says:

    *sigh* Non-anchovy girl, signing off. 😉

  2. Gigi says:

    Oh silly Kimm,… or is it Jayne? Let go of the guilt for having left those items at Goodwill overnight. I assure you… most were picked through and taken before the store ever opened the next day. I’ve seen the scavengers there at night… they know when to sneak over there ’cause then they don’t have to pay for the items they choose to keep.

    Since what might seem unworthy and more like trash to you, might be a treasure to someone else. These movers are trained to take it all… I’ve experienced the same in the past. Always so funny. I remember when the kitchen “junk drawer” was dumped into a box and received at the new place… it went straight into the trash.

    Can’t wait to see your pictures as you begin to put your house in order! All seems good and you seem happy – got to love that!

  3. Mikey says:

    We love Ethiopian, and had a run in with Nigerian food once. How’s Zambian cuisine? Do you have Subways and McDonalds over there?

    • Kimm X Jayne says:

      it’s just that inshema stuff (stiff cornmeal porridge) with stews — I don’t like it at all. We do have a subway and the bread smells the same but no McDonalds. I haven’t tried the Subway cuz I tried it once somewhere foreign (can’t remember where) and it was awful.

  4. Brigitta says:

    sweet cheeks I am happy for you.

  5. Marge says:

    I could have told you about movers for our friend was one in college. They are told to pack everything that is still there by their company. Makes the company more money. I remember our friend walking around another friend’s giveing advice about what to get rid of and he looked under the kitchen sink and said to trash the brillo pad et al. We all thought he was crazy but he was right!

    But I know you are thrilled to be setting up your home now…enjoy! Miss you, M.

  6. Caroline says:

    Thanks so much for all of you detailed and interesting posts. Having lived in west Africa for a shorter stint than you are signed up for, I find it interesting, but we are also currently considering a job offer in Zambia. Might you be willing to answer a few questions for us via email? We have 2 small children and it would be a pretty large transition for us, so as much information as we can get to make the best decisions would be great. Thanks so much, we look forward to hearing from you and seeing new blog posts!

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