Sunday, July 8, 2007

About Getting Packages....

Joe sent out our snail mail address in his last update and many people have asked about what sorts of things we would like to have mailed. Anything really. You all know us and know we're not picky about such things. It would just be great to have contact with you. But for those who won't take that for an answer, here is a list of some of the things we've thought of.....

  • Magazines and books for kids,teens and for adults, too----esp. the new Harry Potter book :)-also all the kiddos love the Dragons in our Midst books. We have numbers 1-4. They are available at the Christian book store on probably on Amazon as well. I'm pretty sure you can mail books for an international media mail rate. Just check with the post office.
  • StarBuck's coffee--regular and decaf (Here, they often drink instant coffee--yuck. Our new saying taught to us by other missionaries is "Nescafe: no es cafe". Translation: Nescafe is not coffee.)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Children's Benedryl dissolvable tablets
  • Construction paper
  • Notebook paper, spiral notebooks, or computer paper (these are available here but a 25 cent spiral notebook from Wal-mart costs $4 here)
  • Oatmeal cream pies
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Gummy bears or worms
  • Baby bottles of nerds candy (My younger ones LOVE these. They are available at most Wal-mart checkouts.)
  • Warheads or some other such sour candy
  • An oven thermometer
  • Colored pencils
  • Homeschool materials
  • Wind up flashlights
  • Decaf flavored teas
  • Gum (preferably sugarless)
  • Silicone hot pad squares (several)
  • Silicone pancake turner (or two)
  • Crayons and coloring books
  • Foam building blocks
  • Polly Pockets for the girls (Theirs were inadvertently thrown away in some of our moving.)
  • Legos or actions figures for the boys
  • An ear and nose hair trimmer (yes, really, and no, not for me!)
  • Crushed ice (just kidding...just dreaming....actually at IKEA I found and bought a crank ice crusher. God was good to me by allowing me to find it or perhaps he was punishing Joe.)

I'm sure that many of you can come up with more creative things than these. Also, there are some things that we brought with us that we have plenty of now, but will run out of as time goes on. We'll update you on those as it happens.

For those of you who might not have it, our snail mail address is:

Joe and Denise Holman
Cajon 736
Cochabamba, Bolivia
South America

Remember that sending mail to us is not like sending it to military personnel or to government employees. They are much more likely to actually receive their packages and in much shorter time. So, keeping that in mind, it probably wouldn't be wise to send anything too expensive. Again, our fellow missionaries have said that anything less than 2 kilos (about 4.4 pounds) we don't have to pay customs duty on which is about 50% of the value of the item. Also they have told us that the easiest packages to get are ones in padded envelopes that weigh less than 2 kilos. However, having said that, please feel free to send anything you desire. When you are mailing, you must list the contents, but please don't place a value on it. Also, it's best if are able to write the descriptions in words that people that don't have English as their first language can understand. For example: instead of saying "books" you might say "reading materials". Instead of "towels" you might say "drying apparatus". This could give you vocabulary and creative writing practice as well as blessing us with mail. :) If you choose to mail a larger box that we must pay duty on, please open any new items and take tags off of them. This way they are considered 'used'. Please write 'used' on the description. So, then we only have to pay duty on 'garage sale' prices. For example: a new CD would cost maybe $15, but a used (opened) one would only be $1 or so. Therefore we would only pay 50 cents duty instead of $7.50. If you must place a value on your items please remember this and write extremely low values.

I'm sorry for the personal nature of this next paragraph. Please feel free to skip it.
One more helpful hint that was given to us is that if you send a package that the customs agents must go through try putting some tampons on the top of it. We've heard that then they don't examine it too closely. Most agents are men and they have respect for some things. If you do put tampons on top, please send Playtex brand.

I hope this helps and we'll let you know how it works out in reality not just theory once we've received some packages!

1 comment:

Gallo Pinto2 said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that you told people what brand of tampons you like :) Unfortunately the agents seem to be trained to be not as bothered by tampons as they used to be...10 years ago they were totally FREAKED and now they're only a little freaked...