The State department thoughtfully sets up Yahoo groups for each of the in-coming training classes and invites FSOs from two graduating classes prior to participate in informing the new FSOs of what to expect (the 136th is the 138th's mentor class). Spouses are invited to join as well. This has been extremely informative so far and looks like an invaluable resource while Alan is at FSI for training. Some example topics covered include storage of house-hold effects and buying a cellphone.
I also joined three other Yahoo groups: LiveLines, a group dedicated to all FSOs world-wide, A Portable Identity, a group dedicated to understanding the transition to expat spouse, and FSParent, a group dedicated to FSO parents.
Several books looked like great resources as well including:
1. The Expert Expat, Revised Edition: Your Guide to Successful Relocation Abroad
2. A Portable Identity: A Woman's Guide to Maintaining a Sense of Self While Moving Overseas, Revised Edition
3. Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
4. Expat Cats,(a children's book illustrating the changes when moving to a new culture)
I am also thinking out the pack out. Seems like we should have a good idea of what we are shipping and may need to document everything. We have some work ahead of us!