Maasai on a cell phone

Kesuma gets better cell reception in Monduli Juu, TZ than I did living in upstate NY. Go figure.
|| Photo by S. Cowing | July 2007 ||

Want to send a package?
To be certain I’ll get it, you need to follow the instructions at the bottom of this page. Click here to skip down.

E-mail Address:
mhumphreys10[at]gmail.com
or
thisamerikenyanlife[at]gmail.com

EMERGENCY contact number
(will take you through Peace Corps switchboard):
+1-800-424-8580
x1470

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 784 – Code 80202
Watamu
Kenya

or

P.O. Box 698-00621
Village Market
Nairobi, Kenya

HOW TO MAIL STUFF:

1) Pack it: USPS standard boxes come in various sizes, and are generally sturdy enough to make the trip. Padded envelopes are also a fantastic bet and slightly less likely to be opened. “Express Mail” doesn’t work, but if you write “AIR MAIL” or “PAR AVION” on the package, that will usually get it here more expediently.

2) Tape it: Use as much tape as you think you would need if you were planning to drop-kick it into a pile of land mines. Now double that.

3) Address it: Caaareeefullly copy the address at the top of the page, preferably using red marker (red ink conveys official-ness. No, I’m not making that up.)

4) Protect it: Have a favorite bible verse? Write it on the box. Some postal workers will open things to “inspect” them and maybe skim a wee bit off the top (read: take all your chocolate/jerky/DVDs). Packages which are assumed to contain religious materials are less likely to fall prey to mishandling. If you write JESUS LOVES YOU!!! or GOD BLESS or even just put some of those cheesy Easter stickers with crosses on them on the package near the address, it’s 100 times less likely to get opened.

5) Declare it: Be smart and succinct about what you label the contents to be and how you represent this on customs forms. BAD IDEA: writing “DVDs,” “CANDY”, or “CHOCOLATE” on customs slip. GOOD IDEA: declaring the value as zero or less than $10. BETTER IDEA: writing “BIBLES” or “TEACHING MATERIALS” or “RELIGIOUS MATERIALS”. If this squicks your conscience too much, “BOOKS” or “MAGAZINES” or “WOMEN’S HYGIENE” is fine.