Planning for travel
When we moved to Halifax, we took 4 suitcases, 2 carry-ons, and our cat. We were also able to buy anything we might need in Halifax. While it’s fairly cheap to take extra suitcases on Air Canada or WestJet, that is not the case for many of the Asian / Oceana airlines. And the limiting factor for us will be our final flight from Port Moresby, the capital of PNG, to Goroka. We are allowed 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on each, with a 16kg limit for the checked luggage!!! That is not very much when you are trying to fit your entire life, plus essentials you don’t think you’ll be able to get there. We are going to pack up to the international Air Canada baggage limit, 23kg, and hope we will get a pass since we are connecting internationally. If not, we’ll pay. In any case, it was extremely difficult for me to pack everything into 1 suitcase, we ended up settling on 3.
Also, we can’t take Kitty. I am extremely sad about this, but it’s for the best I think. 2 days of flying is inhumane for humans, never mind a 13 year old cat. Kitty will be living with my friends Terri and Ryan, for which I’m very grateful. She is already settled in and commanding Terri to do her bidding. But, along with my friends and family, I will miss her greatly.
The paperwork has been a nightmare. I accepted the job in October. Sent paperwork for our Visas in November. Contract set to start work February 3, 2014. We pack our lives up and head to SK Jan 15, for what we expect to be a 2 week farewell. Turns out the Visas were not paid for until mid Jan, so the applications had not been processed yet. Toward the end of February they sent me some paperwork to look over. Turns out they spelled our names wrong, so they needed to double check everything. Finally, received approval March 18. So I called the number for the PNG consulate listed on the gov’t of Canada website. Turns out it was the personal number for the honorary consul, who politely directed me to call the embassy in Washington DC, as there is no longer an embassy in Canada. I attempted to call the embassy in Washington – not only would they not answer the phone, but all of their voice mailboxes were full!! Finally got through, and they could see that we had been approved, but our applications had been forwarded on to the PNG division of the Australian embassy in Ottawa – presumably by the Honorary consul. The people at the Aus. embassy were incredibly helpful, emailing me details of what we needed to send immediately.
Flights were booked March 23, paperwork and passports sent to Ottawa March 24, received back with Visas March 26, and we were on our way March 31.