…Welcome Kits

The “Welcome Kit” is a set of basic kitchen and household items loaned to incoming residents at post that is supposed to tide us over until our HHE (i.e. major containerized shipment) arrives. At some posts, you only get to keep your welcome kit until your UAB (i.e. smaller airplane-routed shipment) arrives. Luckily, in Dhaka, we don’t have to worry about packing some lightweight plates, sheets and pans in our UAB. We did get a picnic set that weighs less than 5 pounds for just such a purpose, but we’re not going to need it this time around.
On several of the other FS (foreign service) blogs recently, there has been chatter about the contents of the Welcome Kit. Because it is the summer transition-time (most people move in the summer so as to coordinate school schedules and the like), many people are encountering the diversity of welcome kits at different posts. One FS spouse in Mexico was sorely tried when he discovered that they don’t include coffeemakers in the post welcome kit. Our Dhaka post has a coffeemaker, but of course, neither Mr. A nor I drink coffee.

What else is included that we won’t need? It seems like the Dhaka welcome kit would be great to provision a housewife in the 1960s. There are “chicken fryer” pans, meat roasters, several pie tins, loaf pans, flour sifters, egg beaters, sugar bowls and creamer pots. Thankfully, the kit appears to come in “(6) large plastic box(es), with lid,” so we’ll be able to store those items away until we need to return them.

What does it have that we use? Frying pans! The list suggests that we’ll have 4 frying pans, but only 2 saucepans. There is no indication of a pot big enough to boil pasta or make up a passel of soup, however. We’ll definitely use the sheets and towels, and the potholder. I anticipate the can opener and mosquito net will also get a lot of use. Not so sure about the serving fork, though.

If I were going to make up a welcome kit, what would I include? I’d probably want to have a wok, a citrus reamer (I have an obsession with them!), a rice cooker, MICROWAVE, fan, chopsticks, wineglasses, more hangars, pillows and a hot water kettle. So… guess what’s going in the air shipment, well, except for the microwave and glass. So, now to think about what should go in the other 400 pounds.

What would you want in a welcome kit?

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