Saturday, June 6, 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane

"Well, my bags are packed,
I'm ready to go.
Taxi's waitin'
He's blowin' his horn..."
(from "Leaving on a Jet Plane" by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Three days ago the movers came and packed up my things. Two thousand one hundred fifty pounds of my life's stuff is bound for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands. A similar amount will be stored by them locally until I return.

It's sad and interesting that the stuff of my life can be expressed in pounds. How can photographs of my lovely daughter and a gas barbecue be measured in the same units? I clearly value the pictures of her much more than a grill, but in moving company parlance it is completely the other way around.

The packers were gentle and considerate with my things. I trust that most things will arrive intact. Their journey is an interesting one: after being trucked from Virginia to Richmond, California they will be loaded into a container and placed upon a barge. The barge will take two weeks to travel across the Pacific ocean to Kwajalein. Upon arrival in Kwajalein, many containers holding a variety of necessities will be unloaded. Eventually my stuff will be delivered to my home and unpacked.

So, what about my travel itinerary to Kwajalein? Thought you would never ask. Well, Tuesday (09 June) I fly from Lynchburg to Atlanta and then after a brief lay-over fly non-stop from Atlanta to Honolulu, a 10 hr. flight. Arrival in Honolulu is expected sometime around 2 pm local time Tuesday afternoon. I will overnight in Honolulu at an airport hotel. Early the next morning, Wednesday, I take a flight from Honolulu to Kwajalein, stopping first at Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The flight is about 6 hours, but since it crosses the International Date Line, I actually arrive on Thurday, 11 June! Wish me luck!

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