Thursday, February 14, 2013

Housekeeping in Haiti: Getting the Mail

Once upon a time, when I was a wee lass in Tempe, Arizona, getting the mail meant running to the end of our driveway to get the mail from our mailbox.  If I was going to get really dangerous, I might do it barefoot in the summer and see if I could make it there and back without burning the soles of my feet.

As an adult, due to those sneaky thieves who likes to steal people's identities from their unsolicited credit cards, bills, and junk mail, our mailbox moved to a community mailbox at the end of our street with locks. 

In Haiti, there is no mail system.  No national network of mail carriers.  Haitians who must mail something out of country rely on FedEx and DHL, and expect to pay ridiculous amounts of money for this service.

Fortunately, we have been given the opportunity to receive mail from Missionary Flights International.  We have a Florida mailing address, and our mail gets flown down each Thursday.  Each piece of mail goes through customs, and yes, we pay customs fees on packages that we receive.  But you know what?  It is worth it!  I haven't grown out of being thrilled at getting real mail.  I love real mail.  I will always prefer a hallmark card versus an email, a handwritten letter over a facebook message.  

So each Friday morning, we load up the whole fam and drive to the airport to pick up our mail.  It is one of the most exciting parts of our week!

Just like any day in Haiti, we never know what to expect when we start out each day.  On this particular day on our way to MFI, we had a flat and Gary had to pump it up with a bike pump. We have since gotten new tires, so hopefully this won't happen again any time soon!
 Bumpy roads make for blurry pictures

We get to see George, our friendly MFI guy, and pick up our mail!  Grammy loves to send care packages, and the kids are collecting postcards from all 50 states (so far they have Arizona, Washington, Montana, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Alaska, and Wisconsin).  

We weren't expecting to be able to receive mail in Haiti, so MFI has been a huge blessing!  It's the little things, like cards and letters, that really make us feel loved when we're so far away from family and friends.

**Learning to live in Haiti has taken some pretty major adjustments, as you can imagine.  Just living in Haiti seems to be a full time job in itself.  I know that before I moved here, I wondered how we would do the simple things we did in the States.  This is the fourth in a series of blog posts where I want to document how we do the basic house stuff in Haiti and share with those who are curious how we do things around here.  As a disclaimer, we're living a pretty Americanized version of Haitian living.  The majority of Haitians living here do not live the way we do, a fact that I am equally blessed by and ashamed of.**

Next up:  Homeschooling in Haiti, 
alternatively titled:  "Plain Old Homeschooling"

Part One

Part Two

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Yay! Glad to see the WI one made it there. My grandma was so excited :-)

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