Jesse here: Kerri just sent out a great news summary of our move to Japan. I'm going to post it here. Some additional minor details are that I'm going to be working at the Yokosuka Naval Base, which is a couple of hours south of Tokyo. We'll be in a hotel on base for a few weeks until we find our house. That's about all I know at this time!
Here is Kerri's email:
Here are some details on our upcoming move to Japan. I was writing this email and realized that it would make a good family and friends newsletter of sorts.
There really is nothing like having a house full of guests and getting the news that you are moving 10 days after they all leave. I can honestly say that this is a first for me. Jesse had been talking with the hiring manager from this company that had jobs in Japan, and did finally have an interview, but we hadn't heard anything back for several weeks. We started thinking that it was falling through, or it would be delayed and put it out of our minds. So about two days after Steve and Mayen arrived, Jesse got a phone call saying, "You're hired". They asked when he could start and he said that mid February would be ideal. They came back to him with, "we need you to start Jan. 17th."! It really took me some time (maybe a week or so) to even comprehend what that meant and that it was really happening. I just kept saying, "Oh, it will be fine." A lady at church said, "either you have a really good attitude or you're in some serious denial." I think maybe it was a little of both, but mostly denial. Don't get me wrong, we really want to go to Japan and have for a long time, it's just the crazy timing and the speed at which it's happening.
When we moved to Germany and purchased all our furniture (having sold everything in Kuwait) we decided to get decent stuff that we wanted to keep and actually ship it to the next place. Well, as it turns out, this job doesn't offer shipping. We had a guy come and give us an estimate for what it would cost for us to ship the stuff on our own, and it was more then we paid for the furniture in the first place. So once again I am selling everything we own (for the third time in a row). In Kuwait it was easy because we lived in a complex with tons of people who were in and out and always looking for cheap furniture. Then there were the maids to take all the small odds and ends. Here, everyone is moving out since the base in closing and not many people are coming in. I was quite worried that selling furniture would be very difficult, especially in the midst of holidays and people on vacation. Even so, we have already sold almost everything to a new family in Heidelberg that we actually knew in Kuwait. They just moved in to their house and needed a lot of stuff. They are also graciously allowing us to keep the stuff until we are closer to going. So I just have a few big items left, and I can take small things to a thrift store in Heidelberg. Another big difference this time is that Jesse is around for the actual packing, selling, and moving. I have done it myself in the past and the whole process is kind of like a black box to him. I'm not sure yet if having him around will be a good thing or not, but at least he will have a better understanding of all that is involved in an international move. It turns out that you don't just pack one bag and get on a plane! Also for the first time we are flying to our new country together. We have tickets for Jan. 14th, which is exactly 10 days after everyone leaves. We will get it all done, but I won't pretend that it won't be a stressful 10 days.
Rowan never really took to Germany, so he is ready to go. That makes things a lot easier than leaving Kuwait, which he loved so much. He would still rather go back to Kuwait, but the idea of sushi and noodle soup being a stone's throw away has him pretty excited. The saddest part about leaving Germany is saying goodbye to our landlords who have been the most wonderful people to live with (they live in the bottom apartment and we live on top). They had all of us down for a big meal last night and we had such a wonderful time. They have truly been a blessing to us and we really hate to leave them at such short notice. Other than that, it really isn't a big emotional hardship for us to leave Germany. It's funny, because we really loved Kuwait and most people hated the place so much, but most people really love Germany and we are rather indifferent. It's not that we hate it here and there are many good things, we just feel (and have felt from the beginning) that it wasn't the place for us. We are really hoping that Japan is a place that we can settle down for a while, maybe even a long while. I think we are ready to stop this crazy pin balling around the globe and just settle somewhere. We plan to have a guest room so please feel free to stop on by!