I've been slowing packing (cleaning, purging, organizing) for the past few weeks. It's amazing what you can accumulate in 2.5 years! I've found a lot of things that I have held on to "just in case" which I actually I think is quite justified as when you live in Haiti, you never really know when you'll need something and can't just run out and buy it (body wash, shampoo, clothes patches, cough drops, etc). Turns out a lot of the "just in case" stuff was buried at the bottom of a rubbermaid and I had forgotten about it. Whoops!
I've been sorting through things and really asking myself "what do we need?". When I did this exercise in Canada, I ended up keeping a lot of stuff. When I do this now, living in Haiti, the "keep" pile is a lot smaller and the "give" pile is bigger. When I think of my neighbours around me, it's really hard for me to justify bringing home 8 pairs of shoes (all summer shoes) to Canada. It's been such a joy to bless those around me with these small gifts.
At the same time, I've been going through my clothes and have realized just how hard Haiti is on them. Getting handwashed and lined dried every week has really done a number on them - stretched, faded & worn. I do believe we'll have to do a clothes shopping trip upon arrival - especially to get seasonally appropriate clothes!
I do believe that we'll be able to get everything into 3 checked bags plus our carry-ons, which I think is pretty impressive. I moved down here with 2 checked bags and 2 carry-ons and this time Cal is with me! What I haven't accounted for is the gifts that people will want to send, namely casav which is a traditional Haitian flat bread that weighs a ton and seemingly lasts forever!