Moving Overseas, Part 2

Not much to report today except, as I expected, the USFWS has still not responded to my application for CITES permits for my birds. So as I predicted, I am panicking. Instead of going out for a beer or two tonight to relieve my stress, I am at home and now I am suffering intense foot cramps that have almost paralyzed my feet and make me want to scream. Is it time for some codeine-based pain relief or maybe just some alcohol?

The moving company representative had to reschedule visiting my apartment to look at my things until Friday evening next week. It sounds like the company where he works is rather small, since he said he is standing in for his boss who will be out of the office for three days next week. I can't say as I feel too bad about his delay since this gives me more time to clean up the apartment after allowing the birds to fly freely most of the time for the past few weeks -- and you know what free-range parrots do!

At this point, I am not sure how to proceed regarding relocating the parrots, but I have to do something proactive to relieve my stress before my feet have to be amputated. In addition to finishing several writing projects I am working on (Monday deadline), I think I will spend some time studying the USFWS and USDA rules again, trying to develop a rough timeline of my own and then check it with my bird breeder friends who are veterinarians and bird importers to see if my understanding of this process is correct. I can also contact the carpenter who will be building the shipping crate for the birds to get that started.

I must start working with the USDA as well as the German authorities soon because the medical tests (and the pre-export quarantine and that mysterious "isolation" period, whatever that consists of) that they require must be completed within a very tight timeframe prior to shipping, which means that delays in issuing the CITES permits by the USFWS will force me to repeat these medical tests if I get them completed too early. But it can't hurt to make a complete list of which tests are required, and the associated costs. Since I have to bring my sick parrot back to the veterinarian next week to check whether she is really diabetic, I will use that opportunity to ask my veterinarian if I can submit a blood sample pooled from all five parrots for each test instead of testing each bird individually (to save the expense) and only re-test all five birds individually in the incredibly unlikely event that one of the tests is positive.

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I don't know if your congressperson provides this kind of service to his or her constituents, but mine has people on his staff who will check on the process of applications wending their way through federal offices. I've twice called on him for help: once when I was waiting for the paperwork that would allow me to bring my daughter home from Peru, a second time when I was trying to get my daughter a passport so the two of us could visit my sister in Germany. Maybe your congressperson could provide you with similar help.

that's an excellent suggestion. i will call my congresscritter's office monday morning to find out if he does this sort of thing!

Good luck with moving and getting the necessary permits for the parrots. Do you know anyone who could take some or all of the parrots in case you can't get the permits worked out in a reasonable time frame?

German has a reputation for being difficult, but it's not all that bad. As long as you have a good grasp of English grammar (as you appear to), you should pick it up pretty quickly. The vocabulary is also pretty similar. Of course, becoming truly fluent takes time.