Saturday, October 9, 2010

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String

(September 30, 2010)


I use my organization's P.O. Box in Ho, which is about 2 hours away. Sylvester, my coordinator, can get letters for me, but initially if a package came in my name I had to pick it up myself. I've written him an authority note now though, so it's not an issue anymore.

Anyway, I got the call yesterday and scared Julia half to death because I started worldlessly shaking her in excitement when Sylvester told me. I explained after I hung up and we had quite the celebration in the middle of the tailor's shop. The measurements for my dress are going to be all messed up because I couldn't stop bouncing.

Packages have become a bit of an obsession for us. There are two things Julia and I talk about every day without fail:

1. what food we've eaten

"I got yam for lunch today!" "Oh man, I got rice again." "Aw, that's the third time this week." "It's ok though because I had a Fan Milk" "That reminds me- want a donut?"

2. and speculating about the progress and content of our packages

I've even modified my nightly prayers:

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my package keep
If it arrives before I wake
I pray no thief my package take

So I'm sure you can imagine that I hopped a tro-tro to Ho as soon as possible the next day to go retrieve my baby, I mean my box.

Naturally the tro-tro had to stop for fuel and then there was a detour because of road work and then we got stopped at customs because some guy had to pay duty on some goods and when I arrived I couldn't find a taxi and then once I FINALLY got to the Ho Post Office Sylvester wasn't there yet and he had my notice so I couldn't get the package without him. Sigh. I'm not a patient person to begin with.

This whole time I had assumed the package was from my mom, who already has several en route (bless her wonderful, wonderful, beautiful soul). So I was surprised when I saw my friend's handwriting on the label instead. I knew he'd sent one, but my mom sent one via Fed-Ex Express, so I figured that one would arrive first. But it's equally exciting as far as I'm concerned. My first thought was, "Oh! Ryan's package, not Mom's. Well then, peanut butter instead of nutella!"
I could read the contents on the label before I even opened the box: Peanut butter, Earl Gray tea (my favorite!), Burt's Bees chapstick...
Sylvester was laughing because I was hopping up and down at the Post Office counter and making various high-pitched noises of excitement. He kept putting his hand on my shoulder, I think trying to get me to stand still. A white girl is conspicuous enough even if she's not skipping down the streets of Ho kissing a cardboard box.

My host family is very happy for me...but a little confused why I'm wandering the house singing "The Sound of Music" tunes...

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