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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

We're Here!!

For all of you who have wondered why you haven't heard from us.....we didn't get the computer until a couple of days ago; we didn't get internet until today; the phones won't work until tomorrow. Sorry, everyone--I thought the cell phones would work to connect overseas, but they won't for three months....I think the cell phone companies want to make sure you pay your bill on time before they let you call abroad.

It's been arduous, but worth it. More later. I've been sitting on a tile floor for several hours trying to get an ISP up and running, and I have to go sit on a normal piece of furniture right now, or never move again...

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

13 Days and Counting

I'm half way to leaving--major problems are getting solved but I still have a laundry list of little things that need doing and I'm running seriously out of time.

The passport and visa came through. The new passport of course didn't have my aliyah visa in it, so I called the aliyah center and my shaliach told me to GO directly to the consulate--she would call ahead and tell them I'm coming and have them fix the visa issue. I expected to drop off the new passport and old passport-with-aliyah-visa-inside and be told to come back next week.

I don't want to hear any more complaining about Israeli bureaucracy--I walked into the Israeli consulate, the clerk at the desk told me Noa, my shaliach, had already called and they were expecting me, and they took my documents and issued a new visa on the spot!

I was impressed. Moreover, I was delighted! I practically danced down the street and left Noa a very giddy and grateful message--she really was a miracle worker.

I'm good to go now. 13 days to our aliyah flight!

I found out PakMail ships overseas AND they will pick up a load of trunks and small boxes and throw together a mini-lift and send it door-to-door. All I have to do is pay for it and fill out the customs forms--which is enough of a challenge in itself.

Pakmail is coming Sunday at 1 pm to pick up the stuff. This means I REALLY have to get this finished. The paperwork is on-going for banking, for bill paying, for school stuff, you name it! We're trying to get the checks from Bank HaPoalim so the Husband can get some bills paid---and he is going there today to see if he can get the information I need to wire funds to that account.

Details, details, its all in the details and I'm am absolutely overwhelmed by details at this point!

Get a grip, girl--you have a long way to go and a lot to still do!

Monday, June 05, 2006

What's In A Name?

What seemed overwhelming two weeks ago has now been downgraded to simply chaotic and mind-numbing....

Order is starting to emerge from chaos...the two lists-of-things-to-do on the 'fridge are pretty much done and I'm on my third list...more boxes! more boxes!

I haven't had time to do much else except rush around--fixing the passport, getting more boxes, trips to Goodwill, house-closing details, banking details, final-payments-on-accounts details, forwarding mail, arranging on-line banking (you sneer, those of you youngsters who have done online for years, but for us old folks, this is pretty intimidating and time-consuming....)

I have to apologize to a couple of people--to Basya for being brief to the point of rudeness today (sorry--even stress isn't a good excuse)--to my cousins and sis-in-law who are overdue some phone calls and updates...to Yona, who I haven't had time to call and need to call...

Tomorrow I get the 'new' passport which will hopefully this time contain my full legal name.....I've had three names for the longest time but only two of them were on my driver's license. Despite a ton of paperwork showing the FULL name with a first, middle and last, the Passport Fairy several years ago would only issue me a passport with the middle and last because that's what is on my driver's license. Never mind birth certificates, credit cards, mortgage statements, social security cards, state bar cards, etc.....I got a passport with only two names because I used my nickname on my driver's license. In a Post 9/11 World, this is a mortal sin to security people.

A couple of years ago I was allowed to fly despite having an airline ticket in my credit card name (first name) and a driver's license in my nickname (middle name shortened). At that time, I was told to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and get this changed so my ID would match my flight tickets in the future. I did so....so now my driver's license matches my credit cards and every other official and unofficial piece of paper in my life except one -- the passport. It was still in the nickname at the time I tried to make my El Al reservation through the shaliach.....

...and the shaliach tells me "this is a problem--go fix your passport."

ARGGHH! I'm leaving in 4 weeks!

"You have time," she said calmly.

....all of which is incredibly frustrating because it was the Passport people who wouldn't accept ANY ID except the driver's license when I mailed in all of my documentation in the first place. It seemed insurmountable 2 weeks ago....but I've now made the pilgrimage to the San Francisco Passport office where the employees were beset by dozens of harried citizens, only half of whom seemed to have appointments, and the employees were polite, helpful and efficient.

Tomorrow I find out: do I have a passport in my full name? do I actually get to fly out on schedule? Will we be reunited as a family as planned?

It would be nice. Pray for me, and for those of you who don't pray, wish me luck!

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