Tuesday, November 26, 2013


We're rounding the last turn, heading for the home stretch on this assignment.  Got our second (and last) consumables shipment about a month ago; hopefully it's enough to last the duration.

This was our first assignment to a post designated as a consumables post.  According to the State Department website: "A post requiring a consumables shipment is one at which conditions make it difficult to obtain locally the consumables required by employees and their eligible family members."  Thus we get "a separate weight allowance for the shipment of consumables, in addition to the Household Effects (HHE)/Household Goods (HHG) weight allowance."

Since we're about three quarters of the way done here, it's interesting to me to see how we did on our pre-arrival estimates on usage of consumables.  As I said, we'd never done it before, and we didn't have the foresight to actually keep records of how much of various consumables we use.

As it turns out, I've learned a few things.

This doesn't cover every single item, but most of the major ones.

What we depleted already from our original supply (and have acquired more):
  • Toilet paper
  • Most of our canned goods (beans, mushrooms, sauces, etc.)
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Snack foods (chips, crackers, trail mix, etc.)
  • Baby/diaper wipes
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Apple juice
  • Liquid soap (dish and hand)
What we don't use as much as we thought we did/would (and have quite a bit left):
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Bath soap
  • Deodorant/antiperspirant
  • Razor blades
  • Ziplock bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Cling wrap
  • Batteries (AAA through D cell)
  • Cake/cookie mixes
  • Candles
What is really not good to buy too far in advance (staleness/spoilage):
  • Wheat Thins
  • Oreos
  • Graham crackers
And thanks to the embassy commissary's arrangements we are able to keep in steady supply (without these special orders we couldn't stay stocked):
  • Decent ground beef & pork
  • Frozen chicken breasts
  • Ham/bacon (not eaten in Ethiopia)
  • Whipping cream
It's definitely been different living with a storeroom full of food, toiletries, and paper goods.  Hopefully we won't have to again - the list of consumables posts includes a lot of places I'm not excited to see (a few might be okay).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everybody overestimates their floss consumption:)
Forest Hawk