Last Friday, I received my official "Agreement to Join the Foreign Service." More commonly known as "the salary offer", this letter is a formal extension of a job offer from Uncle Sam to the FS candidate. The letter outlines the salary being offered, plus the FS grade/step that is used in determining how much scratch you'll earn. I'm pleased to report that I signed and returned the agreement tonight. I'm cracking open a bottle of red wine and celebrating, because only now has it really hit me that this is really happening! Holy toledo, batman! I made it!
Mr. and Mrs. Crab are now in full pack-out mode. Since I'm still busy wrapping up my current job, Mrs. Crab has really taken the lead on this task. She's been separating everything in our flat and placing it into categories: stuff that is going into government storage (HHE: HouseHold Effects), stuff to be shipped to our temporary DC apartment during training (UAB: Unaccompanied Air Baggage), stuff to be carried onto the plane in our checked luggage (AB: Accompanied Baggage) and stuff we are selling.
We are selling practically everything we own in London including furniture, electronics, household goods and other stuff. And anything we can't sell we are giving away to our local charity shops. I've already sold two pieces of furniture on Gumtree.com (which is about 100 times better than CraigsList). On top of that, there's tons of other errands to run, bank accounts to close, utilities to disconnect, flight arrangements to be made, going-away party to arrange, etc.
I'm excited, but simultaneously a bit sad about leaving London. This has been our home for five years. And now, on to the next chapter of our lives!