Recently, on my Facebook page, I asked for some input about things you all are curious about and will cover as many of those responses as I can here on my blog. One of the things that came up there, as well as in many private conversations I have had, is what’s the deal with receiving mail here in Nepal? I probably won’t hit it all today, but I will just share a few things I have learned over the last several months of across-the-world-correspondence.
First of all, we just have a PO box here. Any mail we receive requires a trip to the post office for pick up which is about 20 minutes away but very near to where we study these days. A heads up that something is coming is SUPER helpful (and gives us something to look forward to!). I know my daughter’s birthday package from my parents is about a week out, and even though she won’t be allowed to open it right away, I am just DYING to go pick it up! It may or may not hold my birthday present as well…so I have double anticipation, I suppose.
I have been surprised by how low some of the costs of things we have received here have been for the sender and shocked by how high it can be as well! Recently, after receiving some light-weight mail, I marveled at the low price, feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t sent more missionaries packages when I lived in America. Definitely going to take advantage of that on furlough.
One of the first mailings we received here was a small envelope with two coloring pages, a picture of some of Jo’s little friends, and a map showing where they lived in relation to Nepal. This was such a fun little thing for Jo to open, and finding that it cost $3 to make an MK’s day was surprising to me (and a little guilt-giving…Much apologies to the tiny MK tots we love! Furlough is coming!).
We found out that anything under 5 lbs. is picked up at a window rather than the counter where it can become quite an ordeal as we open it in front of the officials. We have noticed, however, the more Nepali we speak, the more patient and understanding they are about everything. “What’s that? A food something? Yep. OK!” When really I don’t even know what it is. Every time we go it gets a little easier!
Recently, a friend from college sent a manila envelope with a bag of marshmallows and bubbles for my kids as well as their Christmas card. This package, if I remember right, cost $12 to send around the world but meant the WORLD to me and we had a blast with the kiddos in the yard making use of this thoughtful gift!
Another friend from the last church we visited on deputation sent three hand-drawn and water-colored (maybe? I’m totally clueless when it comes to art) to hang in my babies’ rooms. The postage read a $6 fee. I pay $15 for 3 frames and, wallah!, I have personalized art for my kids on my walls that makes my heart swell every time I see them!
To me, that’s what it’s all about it. It’s not necessarily what’s in the envelope or package, though I am always amazed by the thoughtfulness and creativity of each one. To me, I see you standing in line at the post office, pushing your toddler in the buggy at Walmart, or your children dumping out your piggy banks to ship my babies some granola bars or coloring books.
I wonder if you look at the calendar for those three weeks, checking your inbox to see if you have received a notification about its arrival. I can’t help but smile and thank God for sweet friends as they snuggle/strangle their recently acquired stuffed animal that just arrived from a VERY LONG voyage to get to their loving arms and sticky fingers.
Just like everything else in this crazy land, receiving mail in Nepal is always an adventure!