Friday, July 01, 2005

Post Office Secrets

Hey everyone,

Well I don't know how I can express how much it means to a Peace Corps volunteer to get mail (thanks Mom & Dad, Alyssa, Pat McDaniel and Sarah!!! You're heroes!! Nandita and Nick, I have not received your letters yet, will keep you posted when I do), so I wanted to include more info on sending mail to Kenya, from a briefing session we had yesterday.

1. The 1-2 items per envelope is a rule of thumb I suggest so I don't get charged high customs, but I've been told that for the first three months I'm here, I'm not charged customs for packages I receive. Which means you can send LOTS of stuff to me between now and August 15 and I don't get charged the crazy $20-$75 or more just to retrieve it from the post office.

2. Other ways to avoid high customs charges:
* When you declare what you're sending, write "educational materials" instead of whatever it really is. Also don't declare a high value for it as the charges are higher for stuff that is worth more. They tend not to put high charges on "educational materials", but they like to tax food (especially if they've never seen it before) and electronic-related items like batteries.
* Write "Jesus is watching you," "Jesus loves the honest and righteous" or some other ominous Christian message on the outside to deter mail employees from
stealing the contents.

I am in Nairobi for the weekend, celebrating July 4th at the U.S. Embassy and looking forward to eating an actual hot dog with actual ketchup instead of the weird Peptang stuff they have here. Hope everyone is well!


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