I wish I had something profound to share with my faithful blog readers today, but alas, my brain has been over taxed in the last month or so. Each time I begin to think that my plate could not handle another thing on it, along comes an extra helping of something really high in calories!

What I can share with you is a glimpse into my schedule for the next 2-ish weeks and an overview of the next four months. Most people are quite surprised when I say that I know what I’ll be doing virtually every day between now and early July!

To understand my next week, you should know that I have been doing two jobs at work since the 7th of March. A team member suddenly left our department and her duties were very time-oriented. She was responsible for handling the new insurance applications that come in every day. We get 25-45 applications a day, depending on the day, and they need to be processed and assigned to an underwriter within 30 minutes of when they hit our radar screen. [For those that are wondering, reinsurers look at individual cases like this when there’s something about the insured that makes it a high risk – a medical condition, celebrity status, old age, high coverage amount, etc.] Thus, the minute that my coworker left, I had to take over! I’m used to work that could be done from 7 PM – 2 AM if it needed to be, but being in the production line is quite a bit different. Meanwhile, my own work is mostly paused, but crammed in between cases as necessary. On the up-side of all this, my days have never passed so quickly at this job!

The powers that be have hired a replacement for the position that I have been filling in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, she cannot start until next week. If you’ve read my most recent newsletter, you may recall two things: I have class on Tuesday nights in Charlotte and I am leaving April 1 for a survey trip to Peru. Perhaps you are beginning to see what I challenge the next week will be!

  • Monday: Work in the Charlotte office, pack for upcoming trips
  • Tuesday: Work in the Charlotte office, go to class 6:30 – 9:20 PM, fly to Orlando 10:20 PM  – midnight-ish
  • Wednesday: Work in the Orlando office and train the new hire
  • Thursday: Work in the Orlando office and train the new hire; Fly back to Charlotte 7-ish-9-ish PM
  • Friday: Wash clothes, repack, and leave for the airport by 11 AM, at the latest (while being available for the new hire via phone). At least Peru is the light at the end of this tunnel!

I will be in Peru April 1-10, with the intent to wrap my brain around what the upcoming move will require. It’s a bit difficult to know how to plan and pack to move to a place I’ve never even visited. I don’t want to pack more than necessary because it’s going to be quite expensive to take everything on the plane with me. On the other hand, I don’t want to forget anything that I cannot buy there because the laws for what can be mailed into Peru are a bit strict. For those that are curious, here’s the list of items that cannot be mailed to Peru (courtesy of http://pe.usps.com/text/Imm/ps_005.htm#ep1345663):

  • Accessories and personal items.
  • Agricultural pesticides containing active ingredients (ethylene dichloride, ethylene oxide, monocrotophos).
  • Arms and munitions including spare parts or other accessories and components.
  • Artificial flowers and interior ornaments.
  • Cartographic and geographic texts, books, floppy disks, video cassettes, and any medium containing a distortion or misrepresentation of the Peruvian national territory and its borders.
  • Ceramic products and imitation jewelry.
  • Cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco.
  • Coins; banknotes; currency notes (paper money); traveler’s checks; securities payable to bearer; platinum, gold or silver, manufactured or not; precious stones; jewelry; and other valuable articles.
  • Clothing, accessories, and underwear.
  • Communist propaganda.
  • Contraceptive products, remedies, or apparatus.
  • Drinks manufactured abroad under the brand name “Pisco.”
  • Electrical household appliances.
  • Footwear, shoes, boots, and accessories.
  • Furs and clothing made of fur.
  • Gloves and hosiery.
  • Household articles of iron, steel, copper, and aluminum.
  • Household linens.
  • Lighters.
  • Organochlorinated pesticides and their derivatives and components.
  • Perfume products or soaps.
  • Perishable infectious biological substances.
  • Playing cards.
  • Pyrotechnic products.
  • Radioactive materials.
  • Samples of cigars, cigarettes, and tobacco.
  • Sound recorders and reproducing devices.
  • Textiles and carpets.
  • Toys and dolls of all kinds.
  • Toys known as “Yoyo Loco” or “Yoyo Chino.”
  • Travel articles, suitcases, attache cases, kits, or similar articles.
  • Used clothing and shoes.
  • Used tires.
  • Waxes and creams for shoes.
  • Wooden utensils.

As you can see, packing certain things, like shoes, will be rather important since they do not make above a women’s size 8 in Peru. I’m hoping my visit will help me make the best choices regarding what to bring with me. I’ll let you know how that goes!

When I return from Peru, I will be spending the rest of April catching up on my own work and training my replacement at my current company. This may require a bit more travel, but that remains to be seen since my replacement hasn’t been hired yet. I expect that the new me will be in our Denver office, but time will tell. Beyond April, here’s a glimpse of what I have going on:

  • May 3: I will take my last class in the Perspectives course (http://www.perspectives.org). There is one additional class the following week, but I will miss it. Thankfully, it will not contain new material that I will miss learning, although I’m sad to miss my classmates’ presentations and the covered dish meal!
  • May 4 – 9: I will be making a road trip to Palmer Lake, Colorado. I hope to drive by way of Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Columbia, Missouri. Anyone know of a good stopping place between Missouri and Colorado?
  • May 9 – May 20: PILAT – Program In Language Acquisition Techniques (http://www.mti.org/pilat.htm). In this program I will “develop the skills, methods, techniques and attitudes necessary to learn another language.”
  • May 23 – June 10: SPLICE – Spiritual Personal Lifestyle Interpersonal Cultural Endure/Enjoy (http://www.mti.org/splice.htm). Here I will “develop the practical skills and attitudes that will successfully take [me] through the challenging and rewarding process of being interwoven with another culture.”
  • June 10 – 18: I will make my way home via Arlington and Houston, Texas, and Niceville, Florida.
  • June 22 – July 3: My sister and niece, Katie, are taking a mission trip to Kenya. I will be living with 3 little people for a while.
  • July 4 until ??: I will be packing and preparing to move, Lord willing!

As before, there is still the need to sell my house, sell my car, and complete some other classes along the way. I am trusting God that He will take care of those things! Of course, I plan to do my part with the studying for the classes. Tragically, God can’t directly place that knowledge in my brain, though that would be a handy trick in busy times like this.

There it is, my plan for the next 4 months. Undoubtedly, things will change along the way, but that’s where it stands at the moment! Please forgive me if updates are spotty through this busy time. I am putting out my bi-monthly newsletter via email these days, so if you aren’t getting that, please let me know and I’ll be glad to add you to the distribution list! Prayers are welcome too, of course!