Saturday, December 15, 2012


We opted to pay the extra money to have the few goods we needed shipped via air cargo rather than by sea container.  The idea was to receive them quicker, and avoiding having our stuff cross through several countries from the port to here.

As they say, the best laid plans.  The Houston moving company sent their TSA certified packers to our house.  It was amazing what they could stow in the small "D" size box.  After filling it, they sealed it, literally, to ensure and reassure TSA that there were no dangerous or prohibited items inside.

The next step was to get Tom's work visa completed.  We couldn't do that until we were in the country.  Turns out it had actually been approved on September 29, but for some reason KCM didn't get Tom back to Lusaka earlier.  It would have been simple to have stayed over in Lusaka (a nicer way to get introduced to Zambia) and take care of it the following Monday.  But, part of the contract was that Tom had to pass their physical.  Why it couldn't have been done in Houston, we don't know.  But he got poked, interviewed and chatted about golf with the various company physicians and got the green light.

Finally he was scheduled to go to Lusaka to be physically presented and certified.  Finally, once he had his work permit in hand he visited the Zambian side of our cargo carrier.  The fellow who was in charge of our stuff had requested that we mail our passports to him in order to process the paperwork.

Naturally, nothing doing.  Tom went with him to the airport to visit the customs officer that would be processing the cargo.  That officer basically read the representative the riot act and he left with no doubts that he was completely out of line to request them.  Tom returned to Chingola confident that everything was set.  It was about a 4 hour process for the visa, and 6 hours to straighten out the air cargo shipment.

Then the waiting began, or rather, continued.  Through the miracle of the internet we were able to log on and track the shipment.  It sat for another week in Saint Louis, then finally cleared the US border.  It landed in Lusaka, and took another week to clear through customs.  That was a week ago.  We waited, and no word from the Zambian end of things.  Finally Tom received an email late yesterday telling us they had the cargo, but no trucks available to bring it to Chingola.

Can you imagine a cargo company that doesn't have any trucks???  Hopefully it gets sorted out, and soon!  We are meeting Meghan, Peter and Katie in Lusaka on Thursday for their visit.  Other than our golf clubs, Tom's professional library and all of Mary's school books, we can no longer recall exactly what we packed.  It will be like Christmas.  Let's pray we don't have to actually wait until Christmas (or later) to find out what is inside.  And, let's hope all the seals are still intact.

The furniture we ordered from Kubu Crafts is supposed to be shipped this week by the same company. Anxious, no, not us!  It's part of living in Zambia.  Prayers, please!

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