Our Story – Moving to Qatar

by Darla on June 3, 2006

in Life

Since October 2005, we have been on a low key school schedule. Our move overseas and indecision about whether or not we were selling our house being the biggest contributor. A real estate agent gave some suggestions about what we needed to do so we went to work.

In the middle of November, we started working and finished January 15th. After all the major decluttering to sell, we still had more to do. We had a limited budget that didn’t allow for too much so on to weeding out again and again. We started with the things we really wanted, pictures and bedspreads to make it homey. Some things actually ended up in our suitcases. For instance, most of our essential home school materials such as math, spelling, history and a basic science text. Not to be left out we included living books. Needless to say we did not plan for how much everyone would read. I would have shipped a couple extra boxes in the future that would arrive in 2 or 3 weeks so they had something to look forward to. I highly recommend the bags that squeeze the air out of clothes and linens so that you make more room in a tight bag. However we did have to be very careful about the number of lbs each bag weighed.

In February after some interesting experiences trying to sell our house, we realized that wasn’t going to happen and had some good friends house sit for 3 years. They are in dental school and they would move just shortly after our contract here ended. Perfect solution. The kids were happy, mom and dad were a bit relieved.

It was amazing how fast the time went. You think it will never get here and then all of a sudden here it is the day to pack your bags for real and get on a plane. Friends took us to the hotel the night before and we had a very tearful goodbye. The hotel bellman provided some levity as he said he had never seen so much luggage in all his life. 14 suitcases plus check on baggage. He was so impressed he took pictures to show the trolley wheels almost flat. Needless to say it was a ton. It took a truck, a van and a car. Laura (17), my oldest, and I were mentally exhausted and when everyone else took advantage of the hotel pool we couldn’t even move to make it there.

The next day was filled with excitement as we were finally going. My husband and I were the only ones who had ever flown so to start them off with a 24 hour trip was a little over the top. Samuel (4) was so excited. We left Pittsburgh to Philadelphia where we had a brief layover and then it was on to Heathrow, London. We were fortunate to have business class so the children could recline and sleep as if they were in a bed. I didn’t sleep so well but I’m not a great flier. Our 8 and 11 year old daughters took to flying like they had done it all their life. It wasn’t until we reached Bahrain when Samuel was finished with the flying. Thank goodness he fell asleep 5 minutes after we took off and had enough of a nap to not be grouchy.

One more note of appreciation goes to Grandma. I came up with the idea of having a back pack and filling it with wrapped gifts to be opened at intervals along the trip. Grandma decided she would do this for the kids birthdays which just preceded our trip. They had about 14 dollar store items wrapped. It was awesome. Every time they got restless they were able to open a new gift. Usually something to do. We ended up with about 4 gifts left over which they opened the first day in Doha. The best was silly putty. Who would have guessed it could entertain so many for so long. I would do this again in a heart beat. It was so worth the time and money.

On arrival in Doha, Qatar it was 8 PM local time and we were tired. They only lost Sam’s car seat so we weren’t too bad. Again the luggage was interesting. They had a van with all the seats out to put our luggage in it and two cars took us to our new house. The kids loved looking at the art pieces along the Corniche. (Pictures will come soon.) It was so beautiful. The Dean for Carnegie Mellon University – Qatar, his wife and Brian’s new director made sure we were all there safe and sound and had some idea of where to go for church the next day. We had a general idea as we had attended once on our pre-employment trip. Hopefully I remembered right. We got beds made and everyone survived long enough to shower, get clothes laid out, say prayers and thank our Heavenly Father for a safe and uneventful trip.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: