Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Final Days

Our living room has become more like a storage closet. Along the wall are things from the bookshelf and items that Greg's boss's wife recommend to buy here because they are unavailable in Thailand or really expensive.All of our wall hangings are ready to be packed.

A wonderful breakfast, using up the last of our eggs, salsa, cheese and sour cream.

Just to keep everyone informed, here are what our final days have and will look like.

Thursday: Greg had his last softball game. Our friends Jen and Dave came from the cities and picked up our book shelf.

Last night (Friday)- Took down all pictures and patched nail holes, enjoyed a few beverages as we need to empty our liquor cabinet (no liquids in the shipping container), took down train set, made a list of things still to do!

Today- Ran errands, Greg is train watching, I'm going to go through some school stuff, enjoy some time with friends tonight at a bonfire.

Sunday- Say goodbye to people at church, finish designating air shipment things, take apart TV and stereo cords, pack our suitcases (2 each) for everything we'll take on the plane and use the rest of the week. Finish up our perishable food. This is our last night at 138 Main St. North.

Monday- Movers come and pack (maybe load). We check into a local hotel for the rest of the week, The Best Western Victorian Inn. This is the last day for our cell phones. Monday night we go to the cities to see some of Greg's grad school friends for dinner.

Tuesday- Movers load everything and we start cleaning!

Wednesday- Finish up cleaning, check out with our landlord (hopefully get our deposit back) and possibly do one more round of wash. Wednesday night we are hosting "The Last Supper" at the local VFW for wings and beer.

Thursday- Greg's co-worker Eric will be in town from Eau Claire and will drop us off at the airport on his way home. Our flight leaves at 3:20.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Let the Countdown Begin

In 7 days we will head to the airport with a 1 way ticket to Thailand. Wow, it's hard to believe it's finally this close.

Yesterday we received our visas in the mail that will allow us to enter the country and allow us to both apply for work visas. It was a lot of paperwork to put together, but everything must have looked alright because we were approved. If you come and visit us you don't have to apply for a special visa, you just need your passport!

This past week both my mom and dad made trips here to MN and have helped a lot. We are storing quite a bit of stuff at my moms and my dad just left with our last load. Good-bye winter clothing, hair straightener, microwave, and we almost forgot to include our creme brule torch. (no flammables in the shipping container) Whatever is left we are either moving or still trying to sell. Our last resort for selling things is taking them down to the Pawn Shop below!

We are still in the process of designating what gets put in our shipping container, what should be sent in our air shipment, and what should we try to fit into our suitcases (we are each allowed 2 checked and 1 carry on) This weekend will be spent getting ready for the movers on Monday.

Next Monday-Wednesday we will be staying at a hotel here in town. The movers come Monday and they are planned to be done loading on Tuesday. The cleaning will begin as soon as everything is out and we'll say goodbye to our first home together.

Oh yeah, our phones will be off starting next Tuesday. If you need to get a hold us we are on skype now! Our name is Greg and Mary MacLeod.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Note from Greg... Last Times

Lots of "this is the last time" events going on in our lives right now (or at least the last time for a while).

We had a good trip to Iowa over the weekend and got to enjoy time with friends and family (including Em and David). This was the last time seeing many people and visiting Marion for a while.

Driving down on Friday was a strange experience and will be a good way to remember Iowa for the next couple of years. With all the rain we've had in the midwest things are very green and there are more wildflowers along the roads than I've ever seen before. The highway ditches are a rainbow of colors. We also paced a large thunderstorm through northern Iowa that made for a great sunset with spectacular cloud formations and lots of lighting. The radio announcer out of Mason City even had a classic Iowa weather weatherman quote. "... this is a very dangerous storm. Besides producing multiple tornadoes there is golf ball size hail, and some very remarkable continuous lightning!" I did see a great many short bursts of electricity all around the storm, but I failed to spot the continuous lighting bolt. I must admit that would be a remarkable sight!

Sunday on our way back to Hutch we intercepted a westbound DME train in Mankato. I have a shot just west of town on railpictures. DME power and six SD40-2s in a single consist are both possible last time events. See the picture above.

At the time I didn't realize it, but this would also be the last train my Saturn would chase. It sold Tuesday night.

Mary's Saturn is hanging around a bit longer. It sold last night as well, but we reduced the price a few hundred $ in order to keep possession of it for 2 more weeks. A family going through hard times due to recent hospital layoffs in Hutch is selling a pair of trucks and acquiring our Saturns in order to save money. Our cars get to stay together.

Last night we had all the Thai engineers over for dinner. I grilled chicken wings for the last time. The grill is now sold.

Today is my last day working with my best friend at work and cubicle neighbor (Jared). He is leaving HTI (probably because I'm moving to Thailand and he'll miss me so much that he just couldn't bare coming to work any more)

There have been many other "last times" lately, but I think that covers the noteworthy ones.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Gittin R Done

Greg said good-bye to his car last night. He has had it since high-school.

With the move date only 15 days away we are busy trying to get everything done. Since we are not sure of the exact size our apartment will be, we are erroring on the side of caution and bringing less furniture than what we originally thought. This we have sold our futon, our filing cabinets, our office chair, a number of textbooks, and our grill.

We have also sold both our cars! Yesterday I guy came over on the recommendation of his boss (whom we know from church) and bought Greg's car. 15 minutes later his wife stopped by and said they wanted mine too! Last night they took Greg's car away and right before we move they will come and take mine. It was a meant to be situation. They had recently suffered a layoff and needed a reliable cheaper car to get around, plus they have a 16 year old who will drive it. It was a sad moment for Greg, but it was fun to get all the cash!

We still have a number of things to do, but our list is getting smaller. Our last few days we may be without a phone, but we will manage. For those of you that may be interested, we now have Skype. Our Skype name is gregandmarymacleod.

Let us know if you are in need of a coffee table and end tables or a TV stand!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Move Date: August 5th

This is us in Lumpini Park.

Greg came home yesterday with some great news, he gets to move with me! Our offical move date is now August 5th. We will both begin work on Monday August 9th. As we get our housing finalized, we'll let you know.

We have a lot to do in the next 3 weeks including: sell 2 cars, take some things to Iowa for storage, say good-bye to some great friends, try to sell some things we're going to get rid of, designate what we want in our air-shipment, get our visas (stuff is the mail) and clean out all of our food!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Found: A Job in Thailand

The hunt is over and it has been successful. On Thursday night I had a job interview with Mulberry House International School (click to view the school website) for a kindergarten position, was offered a job, and I accepted it.

The details of the job:

Kindergarten Teacher, approximately 12 students and 1 teaching assistant

Benefits: Health/Dental Insurance and a good salary. I will be paid in Thai Baht.

Location: It's near where we will live and I will take a taxi to work or possibly the subway (called MRT) and skytrain (called BTS). It's also located in a pretty major area, very close to a skytrain, and convenient to shopping. I think I will enjoy being able to run errands after work and be home quickly!

You can click HERE to see where Mulberry House is compared to where we will be living.

Academics: This school uses British curriculum and uses a program called Jolly Phonics that I used during my student teaching days. Kindergarten is kindergarten though, we'll work on reading, basic writing skills, introductory to science, etc. Our day also includes time in the pool!

Work hours: My day will be from 8:00am- 3:00pm, students are there from 8:30am-2:00pm.

Start Date: August 9th. I will help with a week of summer school, then be a part of teacher training. School starts August 18th.

Move Date: TBD, but the first week of August

The only downside of accepting a job is that I will be in Thailand before Greg. Greg's move date is August 26th. I will be in Thailand approximately 3 weeks by myself. Right now we are looking into where I will stay for those 3 weeks. It will probably be a hotel near the school. We have not finalized any permanent housing details yet, but are still planning on living in Amanta Lumpini.

I'm nervous, but also really excited, let the adventure begin!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Hunt is On

No, not for lizards, but for a job. Since returning from Thailand I (Mary) have devoted a few hours a day hunting for a job. While nothing is finalized yet, there are some good prospects. Just today I sent out an email to school looking for a special education teacher, but all other positions are for general education classrooms. There is a possible 5th grade position and 2 possible kindergarten positions. I have one interview set up for next week and have been emailing about setting up a second. Given the time change, it takes a few days to set something up!

A few of the schools that I am looking at are these:

Mulberry House International Preschool
Ploenchit International Kindergarten
Bangkok Christian International School

I will let everyone know if I finalize something. :-)