I love getting mail, who doesn’t?  My mailing address is listed here if you would like to send me a letter.  I love email, I do, but there is nothing like that tangible letter I get to hold in my hand and savor like a conversation with you sitting alongside me on the couch laughing and having a cup of chai.

Several people have asked me about mail and packages so I thought that I would just write a post about it for you.

 Letter – 

It costs 90 cents to mail a regular letter from the USA to Kenya.  What should you write in a letter to me that will take a week or more (the longest is five weeks) to get to me?  Anything.  Include a picture or two of you, something you’ve been working on or someplace you’ve been recently.  Share your life with me.  Tell me about work, a crazy dream, the people-watching you did at the mall, the paper you are writing, the homecoming dance (hey I may be a long time from high school and college but I have family that is not), whatever is on your heart.  Doesn’t matter in the least to me.  My favorite part is getting a letter from you.

If a letter is too long and daunting shoot me a postcard with some fun photo on the front.  Love those!  They hang in the office, too.

 Care pkg – 

It’s called a care package because you send it to someone you care about.  Now I don’t say that to guilt anyone into sending me a pkg.  It’s to say that when you care about someone you can send them anything (besides dirt, I don’t think that will make it through customs, so don’t send dirt or snow, that won’t make it either, right Jeff).  The point is that you care about someone and are thinking about them so you wanted to let them know.

Here are things that would be great in a care package to Amy in Africa for herself and to share with her friends here.  It doesn’t have to be big at all, don’t get worried.  And don’t send it as a parcel if you have that choice.  That’s the only key word that I can get out of the postal workers here on what makes a pkg go through customs and makes us have to go to a different PO.  If you happen to know anyone coming to Kenya you can ask them to bring the pkg with them and we can meet up somewhere while they are here. 

  • Things from home, for instance I just received a pkg that had a Wall Drug bumper sticker and postcards from different States.  It’s all great! 
  • Pictures of you, friends, family, your place, your vacation, the lake, the mountains, surprise me!  All pictures sent will be hung in either my office or on my fridge at home (once I get more tacks and magnets)
  • Your magazines.  Not ones from 1996 (although that was a good year), but whatever subscription you have when you are done you can send my way and I promise it will make the rounds to many people. 
  • Something attached to a memory of you and me, like Wilhelmina peppermints
  • Candy will never be turned away.  My officemates cannot believe how much I love sugar.  I always share though and they are glad to try all sorts of different treats.
  • Music.  Send me your favorite CD or ooooo, it would be fun to get a mix tape/CD!  You know I’m serious on this one.  Who will it be to send me the first one?  I have two people in mind and I did get a mix CD before I left and I LOVE it!
  • Books, although these can get heavy
  • Your favorite recipe.  I live in a metropolitan area with a lot of expats and have access to a lot of ingredients

There are no hard and fast rules about care packages but I hope that this gives you some ideas.  If you want something else from me just let me know. 

Again, this is not so that you will all send me a pkg, but to give answers to those who have asked.  I hope that this will also encourage you to send some treasures to others that you know that are away from home:  college kids (include a $10 in that one), military away from their family even if they are still in the States, other missionaries (I can make recommendations here and have two specific people in mind that are a bit isolated from the rest of their team), friends you know who have just moved to a new place, your grandparents, your parents and your siblings.

I have decided to save all the letters and photos that I receive while I’m here and make a scrapbook of them all when I get home.  I think it will be great and it will always be a reminder of the people that God has put in my life as an encouragement.  (I save most of your emails, too and put them in folders on my computer.)

 If you have written me a letter or sent me a pkg, what was the most fun for you to say or include? 

What have you received in a letter or care pkg that was special to you? 

I know that there are a lot more people reading this than are commenting, come on now, I want to hear from you.