Thursday, January 20, 2011

Packing it in

So here's the thing.
I'm flying on Southwest to Florida.
Lovely Southwest, which still allows two 50lb bags for free.
But IBC, the Haitian airline, only allows one bag up to 60lbs and one carry-on bag of 10lbs.
Extra baggage charges are outrageous.
If you can think of an easy solution to this little dilemma, let me know.

My first plan was to use the ancient Samsonite bag that Jeff found in the shed.
It was very heavy, so I ripped out the insides and packed it tight.

I have some angst over this suitcase. It traveled with me to the US over 30 years ago. Some Kiwi friends let  me use it on the condition that I sent it on to the real owners, who also lived in the US. During those early years of marriage it always seemed to be a little beyond my ability to ship it. After a few years it was just embarrassing. So there it sat, year after year, my secret shame.

Believe it or not, this did close, but I was afraid for the big bottles of precious meleleuca. And it only weighed 42lbs. No way was I going to miss out on 8lbs of cargo space!

So out-out-out it all came.

Next attempt, a big duffel bag donated by Brenda.
Thank you Brenda.
[That's the other thing.
These bags will not return from Haiti, even though we, hopefully, will.
Delta, our returning airline, makes you pay for bags.
Boo Delta!]
It has no wheels, but that is a good thing.
Wheels are heavy.

So, first, the vacuum packed blankets.

And all the plastic bottles, well padded.

Cans of formula for the orphans.
Layers of bubble-wrap, just in case.

Lots more donated supplies, covered tidily by cloth diapers.

Packing soft things into the side pockets.

Time to weigh in. 
My toes are reluctant to step on the scales.
I normally don't insist, but it was time to be strong and ignore the phobia.
Hooray! Less than 50lbs, so here we go again.
Did you think I'd let you see the scales with me on them?
Ha! Think again!

Stuffin' it in, baby, oh yeah!
And finally, the piece de resistance, a plea to the TSA inspectors.

I don't suppose it will do any good, but, the good Lord willing, I will still be trying to change the world on my deathbed.

Finally, fifty pounds on the nose and room to add personal belongings from our carry-ons before the last flight.

This bag has been delivered to Lisa, who leaves for Florida on Friday. We will meet up in a week.

Now I need to find another bag and start all over again.
Yay for me.


  1. Sincerely, even? Haha! I think I have found one, but thank you for the sentiment.

  2. Ooh, good idea to vacuum pack. Very nice packing job there. I think the note was a great idea and will probably help. We have a big military duffel bag that I would donate if we didn't use it all the time. The kids all use it for scout camping. The scout leaders have dubbed it the "Duffin bag" (instead of duffel, ha ha). This is all very exciting! Good luck with everything!

  3. CRAZY. I'm SO excited to hear about it all when you're back.

  4. I suppose it wouldn't be cost effective to mail one of the bags, would it?

  5. Mailing things to a third world country is rarely effective, Ellen! It tends to not arrive at the specified destination, sadly.

  6. I once, to my great shame, failed to return a borrowed punch bowl. And it didn't even have to be shipped. I am a bad person.

    You however are a good person for doing this. I had no idea you were doing this. When did you decide to do this? Was I out of the loop for that long?

    I would not have either the stamina or the courage to go to Haiti.

    I will pray for you if you promise to kiss a few sweet little Haitian babies for me.

  7. So, Jenny, not sure how you missed this. Six blog posts since October. Put "Haiti" in the search box. However, you get extra commentary points for relating to the suitcase angst. And I'm counting on prayers. And do you still have the punchbowl?