Howard’s trip to Australia

Howard’s trip to Australia has led me through exciting new lands of forms and paperwork as I figured out how to send books via a customs broker, buy an international plane ticket, make reservations at a hotel on another continent, file for a visa, find the tax forms to report earnings to both the Australian government and the US government, open a banking account in Melbourne, arrange for volunteers to help at the booth, and assorted other odds and ends. Truthfully, each thing has been fairly simple in itself. I’ve been helped by intelligent and competent people who know what they are doing and a pleasant about explaining the process to me. So I approach a task with trepidation and discover that it is nothing much to worry about. (Well, except for the worry that I’ve done something wrong which will lead to massive stress and failure mid-trip.) It is the aggregation of these tasks which makes me feel like I’ve been fighting my way through a maze of electronic forms and paperwork.

We’re close to done, which is good since Howard boards a plane one week from today. I’ll be happy if none of the pieces I put into place fails. We have confirmed arrival of the books in Australia, but they’ve yet to arrive at the booth and we don’t know how they weathered the shipping. We have confirmed reservations both airline and hotel, but Howard has not actually checked in yet. Many things could go wrong, but I know that they are unlikely to do so. So I just continue along, double checking, arranging, planning. Hopefully all will be well.