Wry Exchange

Almost Ready to Go
11-12-07, 6:49 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: , ,

  I lost my entire post.  I tried to edit it, and the entire thing vanished.  Let’s see, I woke up this morning, and wanted to stay in bed with the dogs and not go.  I felt like an exchange student-“Why the hell did I think this was a good idea?”  I know I’ll be happy once I arrive and get to hug Sparky.   I managed to pack a few of my clothes and lots of happy pills.

I packed and repacked my 2 large luggage pieces about 3 times each, including at 3:00am when a bright idea struck.  I used large packing bubbles from Amazon.com to take up space in the suitcases.  I had the weight, but not volume.  That’s a new problem, usually it’s the size that gives me problems-trying to pack too many t-shirts.  The kids will have fun jumping on the bubbles to pop them.  I changed my carry-on to a larger one that has to be at least 50 pounds.  It has all the small, dense and expensive objects.   I even packed canned pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.  Nothing like a good white-trash slice of cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving.

 I’ve complete all my last minute chores.  Dyed and highlighted my hair. finished all the laundry.   Washed and put away the dishes.  Cleaned the kitchen table and it’s B A R E.  watered the cacti.  grocery shopped.  found a temp family for my exchange student for Thanksgiving week.  said good-bye to my parents, and scared them.  I made a joke about *Evo Morales, they didn’t realize there were any problems in Bolivia.  They probably can’t tell Bolivia from Bulgaria.  I assured them I’ll be fine.  Dumb, dumb Wry. Hey, it’s been a whole three weeks since they held the American Airlines jet hostage. 

 *Evo Morales is President of Bolivia.  He is their first indigenous president, and is an ally of Hugo Chavez.  He opposes autonomy for Santa Cruz.

Edited at 11:30pm: The kitchen table has crap all over it already.  It must be magnetized.


What to Bring to the USA
08-01-07, 7:23 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students | Tags: , , ,

What should your student bring, and what should stay home?

What NOT to pack

  • Don’t pack a lot of clothing.  Clothing is inexpensive here.
  • Don’t buy new clothes.  You won’t wear them.  The styles are different here, and you want to fit in.
  • Don’t bring more than 3 pairs of shoes.  Bring a pair of athletic shoes, and a few pairs for school.  Again, the styles are different here. 
  • Don’t bring towels.  We’ll just think it’s weird, and you’ll have wasted valuable packing space.
  • Don’t bring a year’s supply of toiletries. We have soap and aspirin here.
  • Don’t bring a lot of brightly colored fashion jewelry and hair accessories. 

What to bring

  • Temperatures in this part of the country vary from sub-zero F to over 100 degrees F.  Be prepared with a few pairs of shorts, and a warm jacket.
  • Bring a black suit if possible.  Black suits are very versatile, and many students already own one.  If you don’t have a black suit, bring a pair of black dress pants or skirt.
  • Bring a modest swimsuit.  “Modest” is important for both boys and girls.  Boys should bring long, baggy board shorts, and girls’ swimsuits should cover the entire breast and buttock areas.
  • Bring one belt,
  • Bring photos of your house and family, not just your friends.  People want to see what your home looks like.
  • Bring a digital camera if you have one, or money to purchase one as soon as you arrive.   Exchange students take photos of every-freaking-thing. 
  • Bring your teddy bear.  It’s fine, you’ll need a friend in the beginning.
  • Bring a journal.
  • Bring a dictionary, and a few favorite books in your native language.
  • Bring some of your favorite music.
  • Bring a picture book of your city or country.

The 4 photos are from J. Crew’s ‘build a swimsuit’ site.  http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/category.jhtml?id=cat210300

How to Pack a Year of Your Life into Suitcases
07-12-07, 11:37 pm
Filed under: Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , , ,

Before Packing Kelty Pack Duffel - XL Duffels All Purpose Duffels

  • Go to your airline’s website for baggage guidelines.  Different carriers have different rules for different countries, and busy times of the year.   Weight allowances vary between airlines.  If you are flying more than one carrier, check all websites.
  • Decide if you can live with just 2 suitcases, or will you need more?
  • Decide what’s less expensive-2 Overweight suitcases or the penalty for a third bag.  Are you concerned more with weight or volume?
  • A  duffle bag like the one above from ebags.com weighs almost nothing.
  • Take photos of your luggage with your cellphone to show the airline’s baggage personnel if bags are lost

PackingeBags TSA-accepted 4-Dial Combo Lock (2pk) Travel Accessories Travel Locks

  • Toss a few business cards inside the suitcases in case the luggage tag is lost.
  • Spacebags are wonderful for condensing clothing, but they’re also great for fragile and liquid items packed in with the clothing.
  • Put a few plastic garbage bags inside in case Customs or Security go through your luggage, and you can’t repack quickly.  If your Spacebags expand, you won’t be able to repack at the airport.
  • Lock with TSA approved locks.

Carry ons and Personal ItemsKipling Isabel Laptop Bag Business Ladies' Business

  • Carry your winter coat over your arm.
  • Check baggage rules; a few airlines permit 2 carry ons, along with your personal item.
  • Everything irreplaceable goes with you in the cabin.
  • Pack a change of clothing, a few energy bars, and toiletries.  This seems a ridiculous waste of carry on space until the first time your luggage is lost or your flight is delayed.
  • Your carry on bag should be versatile enough to use for weekend getaways.