Now I know you are all just chomping at the bit to send a care package but just aren’t sure what I would like and have been refraining for this reason. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining or begging for stuff, I have received a couple of packages so far- the first in my training group to get anything! However, should you decide that you would like to send something, here’s what would be greatly appreciated!
- Books!!! Second hand books are fantastic & we all trade, so they’ll get lots of mileage.
- Music CDs, mix CDs, MP3 CDs
- Movies DVDs & VCDs (new, used or copied) or burned CDs of avi files (particularly good for television shows *hint hint*)
- Candy Individually wrapped, non-meltable candy, ie starburst, werthers, jolly ranchers
- Sauce Mixes Particularly of the cheese variety.
- Games, Toys & Timewasters Good for entertaining kids and keeping volunteers from going crazy.
Here are a few pointers to ensure that everything arrives as smoothly as possible:
- Print addresses VERY clearly.
- Pack tightly, don’t leave a lot of room for items to shift about.
- Try to distribute weight evenly.
- Put a packing slip inside with an inventory of the package & my address- just in case it gets opened along the way, they know where to send it and I know what’s missing.
- Apparently people are fairly superstitious and religious here, addressing mail to Sister Vanessa or putting bible excerpts or phrases such as, “God bless this package on its journey and all who handle it” help to ensure that it won’t get “lost” on the way.
- Don’t put real value on the customs form- they paste it on the package and if someone sees a high (by local standards) value, it’s more likely to get pilfered. Best not to say more than 5 or 10 dollars.
- Send mail directly to my site, the address is in my contact information. Peace Corps won’t take my stuff, but it will take longer to arrive and I will have to pay to have it forwarded to me from Manila.
- Airmail is fast, boat mail is slow. It will take approximately 2 weeks for airmail from the US. Boat mail takes 2-3 months.