30 May 2008

On sending mail and packages

(For the people that may love me enough to send me things. Don't worry, I'm not expecting anything.)

I stole this from other blogs:

-“There are a few things you can do to help hasten and secure the passage and delivery of your mail. Have anyone sending you a care package scribble religious symbols and biblical quotes all over the outside of the box. This sounds silly, but it works. Though many of the countries in which the Peace Corps serves are largely animist in religion, superstitution runs high and even corrupt postal workers are wary of intercepting religious parcels. Along every step of the way, your mail will be subject to the whims of postal officals, customs officers, and delivery personnel who often take the liberty of rummaging through care packages in search of goodies from the U.S. If you mail is embellished with religious symbols, the odds of keeping it intact are improved. You may even want to ask the sender to write “Sister” or “Brother” before your name, the heighten the effect. Another trick is to have your mail addressed to you in red ink. I’ve been told red ink is somewhat sacrosant in many third world societies and is reserved for only the most official of letters and correspondances. Though I’m unsure about this explanation’s validity, I can vouch for the trick’s effectiveness, having seen serveral packages addressed in red ink delivered safely and expeditiously.”

-Make sure you're using Airmail
-Number your letters so I know if one has been lost
-I've heard that padded envelopes have a better chance of making it than boxes
-It can help to include "educational materials'" or "feminine hygeine products" on the package in writing that looks official

Email me your address if you want me to mail you a postcard, note, doodle, etc.


  1. My daughter is in the Peace Corps serving as a Health Care Advisor in the Mbeya Region of Tanzania. She has been there since June.
    We have sent numerous packages - with both religious AND feminine care products written on them.
    There are several packages that have never gotten to her - some dating back as far as mid-August. It has been very frustrating! I have sent her two different pairs of IPod speakers, numerous rechargeable batteries, and more than one stick drive with music on it. Some packages from others seem to make it through quite easily, but those addressed from her mother and I seem to have problems.
    Any suggestions?

  2. I don't know what to tell you; I've been having problems getting mail too. I haven't gotten any mail in over five months but I know that friends have sent me letters and packages. I've heard that if you send things in small, padded envelopes they are more likely to make it here.

    What is your daughter's name? I arrived here in June so we had training together.

  3. The children at my school experience economic hardships daily. Even though this is their reality they were touched by the children in Tanzania's refugee camp. My students want to help. A lot of my students identified with the pain, frustration and anguish that the refugees deal with everyday.

    My students are currently writing the refugee children of Tanzania and they want their letters to reach them. A lot of the letters or really good and filled with emotion that will connect the children. Wouldn't that be great? Children of different cultures in different parts of the World who experience similar hardships, connecting and sharing their stories? It would create an emotional outlet that will eventually strengthen the broken spirits of children.

    How can we make this happen? If I mail you the letters is it realistic to think that it would reach the refugees?

  4. I was just checking out a segment on Dateline NBC on the hunting anf mutilation of Albinos in Tanzania and how the harsh sun damages the skin of Albinos becuz they do not have the proper sun gear or items to protect them. Although there is little I can do to stop the killing of Albinos, I can help with donating items that can be a use for them. However, after reading this thread I'm a little bit leary on if the packages and items will get to these individuals, I would really hate if the packages got intercepted and never reached the proper ppl. This seems to be a bit challenging for me! but, I will continue to research on ways to donate...any suggestions or reliable links you can recommend? Where do I start?

  5. Hey Laura. Hope you don't mind me reviving this old post. I sent a simple letter to a friend at PO box in Iringa. How long should it take to get from the US? I think I sent it about three weeks ago and haven't heard anything.

  6. linda my daughter is not well and needs some antibiotics and anti emetic meds whats the best way to get them to her she is in tanzania

  7. linda my daughter is not well and needs some antibiotics and anti emetic meds whats the best way to get them to her she is in tanzania

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