Monday, July 26, 2010


I’ve been busy packing up my condo these last few days and I’m amazed at how much stuff I’ve accumulated in the past 5.5 years. From clothing to kitchen wares to office supplies – I’m just amazed at the stuff I had that was not necessary. I already donated two car loads to Goodwill and Bridging and my car is packed for the number three trip tomorrow. How did I collect all of this stuff or more importantly why? Maybe it’s simply because I had the space to fill. I had a two bedroom condo so I needed to fill that second bedroom. I had a big closet so I needed to fill it with lots of clothes. But it was really all unnecessary. I think I’m really going to learn how much I don’t really need this year.

So what do I pack for school? And how do I get it there? These are the really big questions that keep me up at night. When I arrive in Leuven, I’ll be in temporary housing until I find an apartment to rent for the school year. I think I should be able to find a place within a week or two. (Let’s hope!) So the temporary living situation makes me think I take a “small” bag and then have someone mail me a more of my clothes when I have a long-term place to stay. Then I start to think about summer vs. winter climates and clothes. But as a Minnesotan I think I’m overly prepared for that. In Belgium, the average low in the winter months is about 33F (.6C) with an average high of 42F (5.6C). Which actually sounds pretty nice compared to the bitterly cold Minnesota winters with record lows of -40F (-40C)!

Ok, focus Annie. And back to packing the condo. I just a few more boxes left and I’ll be all set for the movers to show up on Tuesday. After I get all my belongings into a 10’ x 10’ storage unit, I have just over 3 weeks to think about my next round of packing…oh, I can’t wait.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Crossing things off...

Just a quick update from my to-do list...

*My condo is rented (YAY) so I'm mid packing right now.  I have to be out by July soon!
*I received my FBI record back in record time.  Thanks to my Senator!
*I mailed my completed VISA application to the Belgium Embassy in NYC.  Hopefully there's no hang ups there.
*I put in my official notice at work - my last day is Aug 4.
*I bought a one-way plane ticket for Aug 19 to Brussels on Icelandair.  My calendar says that's less than a month away...aaahhhh!

Also - my friends and family are throwing me a going away party on Fri. Aug 6 at the Split Rock Grille (Radisson - Water Park of America).  If you're in town, please stop by and say "hi" and "bye"!  Click HERE for the link and you should be directed to the website, just enter your name to get added to the guest list.

Vaarwel for now!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The To-Do list

I started a to-do list a few weeks ago and each day I add something to it.  I wish I could also say each day I cross something off...but that's just not happening.   I mention my to-do list to friends and they laugh, I'm not quite sure why.  It's not funny.  Or maybe it's just not funny to me.  Hopefully my to-do list below gives you a little glimpse of what's running through my mind, and hopefully it makes you laugh.  :)

I included all the items from my original list even the completed you can see there are not too many...

*Renew my passport.  Must get an expedited passport through the mail, can't do same day in Mpls.  (COMPLETED)
*Figure out medical insurance while in Belgium.  (Update - will purchase when in country, school will assist)
*Make a dentist appointment
*Should I get life insurance?
*Give current employer official resignation letter with end date.
*Schedule exit interview with HR
*Email new FB friend from Russia (COMPLETED)
*Complete Belgium VISA application
*Get FBI record.  Contact Senator for possible assistance.  (Update - I got a phone call today, July 15, it's in the mail!)
*Email Rotary program counselor update (COMPLETED - 7.6.10)
*Phone call with 5960 chair for status update (COMPLETED - 7.6.10)
*Contact REM committee for ticket, accommodations ?  (COMPLETED)
*Email RI counselor questions (COMPLETED wk of 7.12.10)
*Email school list of questions (PENDING answers from school)
*Provide 5960 chair update
*Find friends in Belgium.  By that I mean contact the Rotaract Club of Leuven and current AS in Belgium. (COMPLETED)
*Book REM accommodation, purchase ticket
*Pack and organize my condo
*Buy a plane ticket
*Take computer to the geeks for a checkup
*Update my blog!  :)

So that's my list as of 11:30pm on July 15.  I know there's a lot of things that I'm forgetting...but I don't have time to sit down and write out my to-do list.  So if you know of anything I'm overlooking - please let me know!