There's a lot of stuff to do when you move, internationally or otherwise. But when you leave an expat duty station there is something that you definitely expect to deal with that is not such a big phenomenon when moving at home. I call them "Poachers" and basically everyone you know is a potential Poacher.
First you tell a friend that you are leaving to go to X place where your husband will now be doing Y.
The friend says something along the lines of, "Wow! Such great news for your family, but so sad for us to be losing you!"
You say something like, "Thank you! It's true. We're happy to be going but saying goodbye is definitely hard."
The friend will then definitely say one of the following:
- Can I ask, have you found your driver a job yet?
- Has anyone seen the house yet?
- Who is taking your nanny?
- Will you be selling the cars?
- Are you bringing your refrigerator?
- What furniture are you getting rid of?
- What about that great bookshelf in your living room?
Even our staff asked the following:
- Can I have your curtains?
- Please, I'll take any clothes you aren't bringing with you?
- Do you really want to take that carpet?
And the thing about the Poachers when you are the expat who is leaving is that you are not at all offended that the first or second thought people have when they hear you're leaving is to snatch up all your stuff. You are, in fact, relieved because you know that the Poachers will help make the process a bit easier. I myself have been a Poacher in our time here!
So with the help of the Poachers and my Nairobi mom's group on Facebook, in two weeks time we sold everything we wanted to sell (except the cars, for more complicated reasons), found Charles a fantastic new job, and got Syprose (the cook) some new contacts. Rose is a different story for another blog, but will basically be joining us at our next destination (thank God, thank God, thank God, thank God).