Friday, 19 December 2008

Transition Time

We've been here just over a week now. It's crazy days. We're having a blast so far, though it doesn't really seem any different to a normal vacation yet. We finally got a car yesterday! So that's good. We're looking for a house. We'd like to buy, rather than rent, just so we don't have to move twice. It's a buyer's market, but that still doesn't make it easy.

I don't feel like I can really update until I feel like we really live here now. So stay tuned for that...

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Serious Crunch Time

Three days from now we depart. One week from today we arrive in New Zealand. In between we hang with the rellies in California. I need to pack.

We're taking the full allowance. 2 bags per person = 8 bags. 2 of those are car seat bags, so the rest will be clothes, shoes, and other assorted stuff that we forgot to put in the container. Toys, books, appliances, etc. Hopefully it all fits.

We had a lovely going away party just before Thanksgiving. About 100 people showed up to wish us well on our move. I didn't think we knew that many people.

Our last American Thanksgiving was a traditional feast with family. Turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, the works. We'll have to try to keep up the tradition in New Zealand. Maybe we'll do 2, one in November as usual, and then one in New Zealand harvest time, since really, it's a harvest celebration. You can never have too many reasons to stuff yourself silly. I hope we can get turkey there.

Thursday, 20 November 2008


Most of our belongings on on this container.

This container is now on this ship.

It's the OOCL Hong Kong. You can track it along with me if you like, on the OOCL web site.

It left New York yesterday. Now it's docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Tomorrow it's due to depart across the Atlantic, reaching Italy in 6 days. That's the easy part.

You may have heard about the recent pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden. Guess where our container ship is heading next? Hopefully it makes it through unscathed. Assuming it does, it'll reach Singapore, where our container will be shifted to a different ship that heads down to Napier.

Thursday, 13 November 2008


Just a quick note to point out the nifty little timeline I put up on the right side of this blog. It's got all the key parts of the process of obtaining the legal right to move my family to New Zealand. Quite a long process. We're almost at the end.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

One Month Left

One month from today we leave the US. Wow. I've been running around like a mad person organizing, and now we pretty much just wait.

Re: the banking stuff -

The Kiwibank application was accepted without a hitch. There was a slight delay, because we wanted a joint account, instructions for which weren't clear. Basically we had to fill out the single account forms once for each person. So all in all, once that was in, the account was opened within a few weeks.

I also decided to join HSBC, because they operate in both New Zealand and the States. So we can transfer money easily between the two countries through them. Since Aidan will continue doing contract work for a company here in the US, this will be a convenient way to get the money to us in NZ without dealing with wires and such.

The exchange rate through HSBC, though, is your standard bank rate, which isn't as good for us as we could get through other channels, so I set up accounts with both XEtrade and HiFX. XEtrade enables me to do foreign exchange transactions entirely online, taking the money from my US bank account through EFT, and wiring the money to my NZ bank account. They charge a small (around $15) transaction fee for the wiring, but the better exchange rate makes it worth the charge. HiFX seems to give an even better rate, but I have to wire the money to them, for which my US bank charges a wire fee. But HiFX doesn't charge any fees themselves. So for large sums they seem to be the best bet. Though trades with them must be initiated over the phone, and then a form filled out and faxed or emailed back to them. I've completed trades through all three channels (HSBC direct, XEtrade and HiFX) and they all worked.

And of course, while setting up all these accounts, the global economy has entered a tailspin. Things are all crazy, and so far, we seem to be benefiting from it, as the NZ dollar has fallen against the US dollar. Who knows where it will go, though?

Re: shipping our stuff -

I didn't think we had a lot of stuff, but I knew that we did want to bring with us most of the stuff we have, since stuff is generally really expensive in New Zealand. So I got a few quotes from international moving companies, and all of them seemed to think that we had enough stuff to fill a 20 foot container. But that's all good, because having a dedicated container, rather than sharing with others gets our stuff to NZ quicker. We ended up going with Allied International, and their local agent ABC Moving. Not the lowest estimate we got, but solidly in the middle.

The lowest quote was given by a kinda sketchy local moving company. They actually didn't seem sketchy in person, or in any way in fact except for one. When I asked them who they outsourced any part of the move to, they said they did it all themselves, except for the local moving in New Zealand of course. First over the phone I specifically asked who they used for the actual international part of the shipping, the freight forwarding, and he clearly answered that they do it themselves. When another employee came out to do the visual inspection for the estimate, I asked again, "Who does the actual shipping, the international portion, the container ship portion, the freight forwarding?" And again, he said they do it all themselves. But all international shippers must be licensed by the Federal Marine Commission. This company was not on any of the lists of licensed forwarders. I emailed and asked if they were licensed under a different name, because they were not on the list. And I got a response that they used a different company for the forwarding. Huh. Obviously I couldn't trust them to answer this straightforward question truthfully. How could I trust them with all of my worldly belongings?

So Allied came out and packed up all of our stuff on Thursday. And then Friday they put it all in the container. It fit with some room to spare, but not much. Now we get to live for approximately 80 days without stuff. Which means a month here, and a month and a half after we get there. It'll be such fun when it arrives!

Monday, 29 September 2008

We have our tickets!

I've been saying for a while now that we're going in January. And just a few days ago that was still the plan. Mainly because that would enable Bic to finish her first half of the year of school here, and get us to New Zealand right before the start of their new school year. Also it would give us more time here to pack and prepare, and let us have one more white Christmas.

But then I went to go buy our plane tickets. In January, two adults, two children flying one way from Boston to Napier, with a stop over in San Fran for 2 days came to US$7330 on Air New Zealand. We like Air New Zealand the best because they have direct flights from San Francisco, where we like to stop over to visit relatives. Plus they do New Zealand domestic flights, so we wouldn't have to switch airlines at all the whole way. We could have probably found a cheaper domestic flights for both the US leg and the NZ leg, but having it all on one ticket means we can bring the max amount of luggage on all the flights. Which is 2 per person before being charged extra. Most domestic flights in the US now charge for even the first checked bag. And we're probably going to bring as much as we can.

Anyways $7330 is a lot of money. It sounds like too much. So I did some searching around, and found that if we leave in early December the price drops by over $2000. That's too much money to ignore. So I bought the tickets. We leave Boston on December 6. Leave San Francisco December 8. And arrive in New Zealand on December 10. Whohoo!

I had a mini anxiety attack when it dawned on my how close all this really is to happening. There's really no turning back now. And December is SO soon. But now I'm good with it. Better than good, really. That extra month will give us more time to find a place to live, visit schools and kindergartens, etc. before the start of the new year. It will give us more summer and less winter. It will give us Christmas and the New Year in our new home and with Aidan's family.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Banking Before Embarking

This week has been insane for financial institutions in the US, so obviously my mind turns to our money. And where it's at. And where it will be.

We'll need a bank account in New Zealand, and it occurred to us that it would be best to set one up before touching down. On our recent reconnaissance trip we planned on doing so, but time got away from us, and in three weeks we never made it to a bank. So now that the date of departure is fast approaching, I've got to sort out a way to open a NZ bank account from overseas.

Thankfully we live in the age of the Internet, and all the major New Zealand banks have web sites. And on these sites they have pages devoted to people in just my situation... mostly. The Bank of New Zealand has a page titled Moving to New Zealand, but then the first line of the page states "The information is applicable to UK residents considering a move to New Zealand." Well, that's not very helpful for me. I'm not in the UK. So simply because of their discriminatory lack of information for other migrants, I've decided against BNZ.

National Bank is more inclusive, with a big link to their New Residents Services page right on the home page. Unfortunately, you must move to New Zealand within three months of opening the account. We're planning on moving in January, which means we would have to wait until October to get this going with them. I don't like the idea of being on a time restriction anyways. I mean, we're 99% certain we're moving in January, but should something happen, we may move a few months later. Then what would National Bank do? I dunno. Not really worth finding out when there are other banks.

ASB Bank is another big one, with their Migrant Banking information available in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Korean, as well as the usual English. They also have special services for UK residents (which again, don't help me). Their document requirements are a bit of a pain, though, as they want notarized copies of everything.

So in the end, I decided to apply with Kiwibank. Kiwibank is a relatively new bank, the only one in New Zealand 100% Kiwi owned. I believe they're partly government backed, so they have many branches in local post offices. Their Migrant Banking page is straightforward, with a link to directions on opening an account from overseas. The only slight confusion I had was that the "Migrant Banking Forms" are not migrant/overseas specific at all. There is no place for "Country" in the address area. The telephone number field doesn't have enough spaces for longer, international numbers. Little things like that.

So I wrote to Kiwibank and asked to confirm there were the right forms. They responded promptly, that yes, they were, and I should just write in whatever additional information I need to provide. Which I had to do in two cases. First was the rate the earned interest will be taxed at. The forms only have the choices 19.5%, 33%, 39% and Exempt. Well, as non-residents until we move, the interest should actually be taxed at the Non-Resident Withholding Tax rate of 10%. So I wrote that in. And then I also had to note that I would be wiring money to the new account once set up, rather than including a deposit cheque, as requested.

Yesterday I sent the forms, along with photocopies (non-notarized) of my husband's and my passports, and a recent bank statement. I'll let you know when I hear from them.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Early Education

So here in my area of the States preschools are private, often expensive, competitive, and hard to get in to. Most places recommend applying for a spot a whole year before your child would start. Kids usually start preschool the September after they turn 3 years old. My little on will be turning 3 in December, just one month before we relocate to New Zealand.

In New Zealand, preschools (often called Kindergartens or simply Kindy) are also private. The big difference is that the government now pays for 20 hours a week of early education for 3 and 4 year olds. This has apparently led to more kids enrolled, and fewer spaces free in qualifying centres. Knowing this, and being accustomed to the year-in-advance registration rule here, I've worried that little Nys won't have a spot in a preschool when we get there. And she is SO ready for preschool, seeing her big sis Bic go off to school every day is so sad for her.

So I've started emailing preschools in the areas we're looking at in Hawkes Bay. It seems like we won't have too much of a problem. Two of the Kindergarten associations I've contacted - Napier Kindergarten Association and the Heretaunga Kindergarten Association - have wait lists for their many centres, but the list order is based on the age of the child, not how long the name as been on the list. The oldest child on the list when a spot opens up gets the spot. And spots open up all the time, because as I explained previously, children move on up to real school when they turn five, be it at the beginning of the year, the middle, or near the end. There's no problem in waiting, then, till we arrive and visit a few of the centres before putting her name on the waiting list, because the term begins at the end of January, and she'll get a spot when she's the oldest on the list.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Residency in Hand

That was quick. I got my passport back today, just 8 days after I sent it down to the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, DC. It is now stamped with a Residence Visa, which I must convert to a Residence Permit by 8 September 2009 (by entering New Zealand). I also go a Returning Resident's Visa that lets me back into New Zealand if I leave in the two years thereafter.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Starting School

It's the beginning of September, so here in the States that means the beginning of a new school year! Having young children, their schooling obviously came into consideration when thinking about emigrating to a new country. And ultimately, differences in the school schedule have affected our time table for moving.

In Massachusetts kids start school September after they turn five. The first year of school, children 5 and 6 years old, is called Kindergarten. The second year of school is called First Grade. The third year is Second Grade, and so on. Confusing, I know. I think the names are holdovers. First Grade used to be the first year of school, and Kindergarten was just organized childcare for kids not old enough yet for school. But then The Powers That Be decided that starting school earlier is better, so Kindergarten was added on as part of the public education system as the first year. Legally, children don't need to start schooling until they're six years old, but pretty much everyone starts at five.

Kindergarten is still a transition year in a lot of places, though. For children never in a childcare or preschool setting, it's the very first time away from home. In some towns Kindergarten has shorter days than the rest of the school. But because of the big push for early childhood education, almost all children now start attending preschool at age 3. Babying the Kindergartners is not so necessary, and there's a nationwide trend towards full-day Kindergarten. My town is halfway there, sending Kindergartners to school full days 2 days a week and half days 3 days a week.

Now I'm not an expert, but I've been asking around about starting school in New Zealand. There are quite a few differences. Most obviously, the school year there goes from February to December. The school year schedule is the same all across the country, rather than being different town to town as it is here.

Confusingly, what we call preschool or nursery school here in the US is called Kindergarten in New Zealand. This is for 3 and 4 year olds and is provided by private early childhood education centers. Recently the New Zealand government started a universal preschool type system, which provides 20 free hours per week of early childhood education at these private centers. That's a huge bonus for us, considering that for Bic's year of preschool last year we paid over $5000, and she only went 15 hours per week!

Kids start SCHOOL school when they turn five. The DAY they turn five (or the next school day if it's a weekend, holiday or vacation). Depending on what part of the year it is, the child is put into either Year 0 or Year 1. If it's close to the start of the year, they go straight into Year 1. But if it's later in the year they start in Year 0. School is full-day, right from the start.

Bic turned five at the end of June, and last week she started Kindergarten here (see above). We had originally planned on moving to New Zealand in November, which would be pulling Bic out of school just over 2 months after she started. Then we would arrive just before the end of the year, so probably not a good time for her to start. Because of this, we've decided to put off our move till January. This will mean that Bic can finish the first half of her school year here, and leave during winter break, arriving down under just in time to start the new school year there as a Year 1.

For more information on NZ schooling, check out the New Zealand Ministry of Education main website or their info site for parents, Team-Up.

Thursday, 4 September 2008


Like I said previously, there's a lot to update. We went down to New Zealand for 3 weeks in July for a bit of reconnaissance. It was winter (note the snow on the Napier/Taupo road below), which wasn't ideal, but we got a lot of stuff sorted in our own heads, and it ended up being a wonderful trip.

So what did we sort out? Well, the biggest thing was deciding where we want to move to. We were divided between Aidan's hometown of Napier in the Hawke's Bay region, and Wellington. We spent a week in Napier, a week in Wellington, then a week back in Napier. And it became clear to us that Hawke's Bay is definitely where we'll go.

Not to knock Wellington. I mean, we totally love it there. But lifestyle-wise, I think Napier is more our speed. And really, lifestyle is the reason we're moving to NZ. Wellington is another big(gish) city. We've lived in the suburbs of a big(gish) city for the past 11 years. It's what we're moving away from. And housing in Wellington is SO expensive that we'd definitely have to live in the suburbs there, rather than close to town, which would defeat the purpose of being there anyways. The downtown is awesome... the suburbs, not so much.

Napier, on the other hand, is technically a city, but I consider it a small town. It feels like a small town, but with most of the city amenities you could want between Napier, it's sister city Hastings just next door, and the adorable village of Havelock North. Hawke's Bay is a gorgeous region.

We'll be able to afford pretty much anywhere we'd like in the area. Where in the end we settle exactly will depend on where our jobs are. And on that front, it doesn't seem like there will be any problem, since Aidan managed to meet with many potential employers, and they all seemed enthusiastic, some even offering him jobs on the spot! He didn't commit to anything. I assume when we arrive in January the situation will be similar.

So that was the major decision we made on this trip. More gleaned info to follow.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

I bet you thought it would never happen

It's here! Finally, an update!

There's actually a lot to update, but instead, I'll just share that today I sent my passport to the New Zealand Embassy to have my Residence Visa stamped, or attached, or inserted, or however they give it to me. The acceptance letter told me it would take about 4 weeks to be issued, and then from that point I have 12 months to move to New Zealand. No problem, the current plan now is to move in January.

Whohoo! Almost there. :)

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

The world is shrinking

On Friday, Aidan ordered me a Shuffle for Mother's Day. Yes, I know it's cheating that I already know what he got me, but the color and the inscription will be a surprise at least.

Anyways, like I said, he ordered it online on Friday. We received a notice of shipment with tracking info two days later, on Sunday. Today is Tuesday, and it just arrived. Pretty good, right?

It's actually pretty unbelievable when you see where this little $50 gizmo has been.

It started in China. That day it got to the Philippines. Then it left the Philippines for Alaska. Yesterday afternoon it left Anchorage, arrived in Indiana early this morning, and I had it in my hands at 2:44 this afternoon. It even looks like it was at my house this morning, but no one was here to receive it.

With the world shrinking this way, it makes a move to the other side of the world seem more doable. Now if I could only ship myself over as easily and cheaply.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


So it seems I need to wait again. My letter from the NZ Embassy said I need to send them back my passport, and they'll put my Resident Visa in it (for the fee of $235 called a migrant levy). I will then have 12 months to get to New Zealand at which point the Visa will be removed from my passport and my Residence Permit will be issued.

Thing is, I'm going to NZ for a month in July. But returning home for a few months to pack and stuff before moving over permanently sometime at the end of the year. So I don't want my Residency to start till I actually move (so I won't be tax liable there, so I won't need a Returning Residents Visa to get back). I emailed my case worker and asked what I should do. She said I shouldn't send them my passport for my Resident Visa until after I get back from my trip in August.

So like I said, more waiting. But it's all good. It's not like I'm waiting on someone else this time.

Friday, 11 April 2008


I got it! Or rather:
"[My] application for residence in New Zealand has been approved in principle."

Sweet. You'd think they'd make the notice a little more exciting, a little more emotional. But it doesn't matter, because now the only thing standing between me and New Zealand is time!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Kiwi in the House!

Last weekend Aidan and I went to see one of New Zealand's latest musical exports - Liam Finn. He's the son of Neil Finn, legendary front man of Crowded House and Split Enz. With that source of DNA, it's no surprise that Liam Finn put on an amazing show Upstairs at the Middle East in Cambridge.

He's pretty much a one man band, with back up from a lovely woman named EJ. He also backed himself up, by using all sorts of fancy equipment with his feet to record and playback his guitar playing so he could wail along on the drums. Luckily I was able to see all this elaborate footwork from my vantage point right on the side of the tiny stage. I almost missed it, too. We had been positioned right in the middle of the crowd, with very tall people in front of us. But then just before Liam took the stage, I got something in my eye. I couldn't get it out by blinking, so had to find the bathroom to use the mirror. Liam came out while I sorted out that an eyelash had somehow gotten behind my contact lens. Once I got it out, we made our way back out, and found that just by the bathroom we could see the whole stage perfectly, if not quite front on.

Liam Finn Upstairs at the Middle EastI had never heard his music before, and it was wonderful, really melodic, but rocky. I've since listened to his newest CD some, and it's definitely a bit mellower than he is in person, but still, really great listening. And he sounds so much like his father.

So it was totally great to get out and support a Kiwi out in the world, but I'm such a tool. The part of the night that made me most happy was that he was the opening opening act (he wasn't even listed on the tickets). Meaning he went on first, right around 9:45, so leaving right after he finished up, I was able to be home by 11:00. Such a loser. ;)

Friday, 29 February 2008

more stuff

Hey! So I got my documents (passports, birth certs, etc) back from the NZ Embassy on Monday. That took just over three weeks, which is pretty good. Not so good is the fact that I also received notice from them that they needed additional documentation to process my application. Mother frakker! I sent so much stuff already, and they want more?!?!

Turns out I missed 2 teeny tiny instructions on the health form. Despite the fact that the form has 2 pages dedicated to the doctor indicating whether each of the lab test results and the x-ray results was normal or not, I was actually also supposed to also include print-outs of the actual results, signed by the doctor. That required me going back to the doctor's office, which I did today.

The other thing I missed was enough documentation to prove that my husband and I have been cohabitating for at least 12 months. Funny thing is, though, that to prove that, they ask for joint bank statements, separate individually addressed mailings, etc. from the past 6 months. How does that make any sense? I don't know.

Well, I had only sent in one recent joint bank account statement, and our marriage certificate (from 10 years ago!), and our daughters' birth certificates, which both showed that we were living together 4 years ago and 2 years ago. I had thought that would be enough. Guess I was wrong. So today I went through our files, got 12 months worth of joint bank account statements (they said they only needed 6, but I sent 12 just in case), a recent excise tax bill addressed to both of us, a health insurance notice sent just to spouse 6 months ago, a credit card statement sent just to me 6 months ago, and a joint car insurance statement sent to both of us 6 months ago. That better be enough, man. I UPSed it all off again today.

Now it's back to waiting.

Friday, 15 February 2008

g'day mate

Too bad we're not bringing Giles with us. He'd fit in perfectly Down Under.

Though I guess the heart bandanna would set him apart a bit.

And yes, that is an authentic, Australian Driza-Bone he's wearing. We got it for him in the Blue Mountains when we were last visiting Aidan's brother in Sydney.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Andy's got it

According to the UPS web site tracking, my application arrived at the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, DC safe and sound on Wednesday. Seemingly fitting, it was February 6, Waitangi Day, a New Zealand national holiday, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The UPS site says the package was signed for by Andy. Just Andy. Hee. That makes me think of Murray, in the New Zealand Consulate in New York City on Flight of the Conchords. If you haven't seen Flight of the Conchords yet, you must. It's a show by, and about these two New Zealand guys who are trying to make it in New York as a band. We don't have HBO, so we haven't been able to see it until recently when we got it out on DVD. So far we've watched the first 4 episodes of season 1, and it just keeps getting funnier. A lot of the humour seems like it would only be understood by Kiwis, or those who know some, but I guess enough of the humour crosses over, because it's a big hit, and everyone I know here who's seen it loves it.

Monday, 4 February 2008

it's out of my hands now

It's done! I've sent the whole application package off to the New Zealand Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Here's what I sent:
- Completed application form
- 2 Passport photos of me
- 2 Passport photos of my partner
- Certified copy of my birth certificate
- My US Passport
- Letter explaining why I couldn't obtain an FBI police certificate (with all the paperwork from my failed attempts)
- Completed Medical & X-Ray Certificate form (with 3 passport photos of me attached)
- Completed Sponsorship Form
- Certified copy of my partner's birth certificate
- My partner's New Zealand Passport
- My partner's FBI police certificate
- Certified copy of our marriage certificate
- Certified copies of our daughters' birth certificates
- Our daughters' New Zealand Citizenship Certificates
- Joint bank account statement
- Bank check made out to the New Zealand Embassy for US$925
- Prepaid self-addressed UPS envelope for return of documents

Now the waiting begins.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

maybe tomorrow?

Okay. So Friday Aidan went and got the 2 passport photos the partner of the New Zealand residency applicant needs. He went and signed his Sponsorship From with the Notary at our bank. I thought we were all set. Saturday morning I started piecing it all together, with the hope of mailing it off that day. But then the one item I was sure I had a copy of, was missing. I can't find a certified copy of our marriage certificate. I found 2 regular copies, but neither are certified, so they won't do. I found the certified copy of my birth certificate (2 actually), I found the certified copy of Aidan's birth certificate, I've got both our passports, I've got the medical form filled out, the sponsorship form filled out, and the actual residency application form filled out. All I need is this marriage certificate. Oh, and a money order for the fee. On the application there's a spot for your credit card number, so I assumed that I could use my credit card. But according to the Immigration New Zealand fee finder the only options for paying the fee when filing in the US are bank checks, money orders or cash. Like I'm going to send $925 in cash. Yes, $925. I should just move to New Zealand first, then apply, because the fee when applying in New Zealand is only $700 in New Zealand dollars. That's like a US$500 difference to apply from here. Oh well. I'm way too close to finishing this application of change the plan now.

So tomorrow it's off to City Hall to get a copy of my marriage certificate, off to the post office to get a money order, then off to the UPS Store to mail it all, along with a prepaid return mailer for getting my documents shipped back to me. That's important, because we'll definitely be needing our passports soon. We're planning a reconnaissance trip down to New Zealand for July!

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

this might take awhile

I finally got the ink for my printer yesterday. We had a dump of snow over the weekend and I didn't want to go out in it. Now that I've printed the forms, I see it will take a few days before I have them completed. The primary reason? Despite the fact that I am the only one on the application (husband and daughters all being New Zealand citizens) I have to write out every member of my partner's immediate family. With their birthdates. Aidan is the youngest of nine kids, and he's not quite sure on all their birthdates! He knows all the days and months, it's the years that he's a bit unsure of.

I'm assuming the reason they want this information is to see who could potentially in the future want to try to gain entry based on my residency (assuming I get it). But it's silly, really, because all of them are New Zealanders. I guess in this sort of case it could be to see where we have the most ties, so it's a positive thing, having so much of our family in New Zealand. I don't know, but it's frustrating all the same. We'll have to contact his mother to get all the dates.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

healthy as a horse

Whew! So glad that's done. I had my medical exam and lab work and chest x-ray needed for my New Zealand residency application. Time spent at the medical clinic totaled two and a half hours. Then two days later I went back in to pick it all up. I had been quite nervous about it, apparently unnecessarily so. My doctor was very nice about it and agreed to do all the paperwork herself, rather than sending it to Medical Records (as I was told must be done at the front desk) which would have taken weeks to get back. The chest x-ray was done at my clinic, but had to be sent to a radiologist off-site, and though I worried about it, the form for the radiologist went off with the x-ray, and came back correctly filled in. Once I got it all back, I celebrated in the classic Kiwi way, with beans on toast.

So now I've pretty much collected everything I need to submit my application. Last thing is for Aidan to get a couple of passport photos. I've gotten mine already. I needed three for my medical forms, so I got the extra 2 for the application at the same time. Oh, but I need to go to Staples tomorrow to get some more ink for my printer. I'm running out, and need to print up the application (24 pages), and the sponsorship form (12 pages). A few weeks ago I had called the NZ Embassy in Washington, DC to get them to send me copies of the form (wanting the nice, official versions), but they didn't have any to send! Told me I had to print off the web. So I will.