Tag Archives: mail

Care Package Suggestions

27 Jan

For those of you thinking of sending care packages, firstly I LOVE YOU, secondly, I know it can be hard to have any idea of what I need or miss so I figured I would put together a general list of things that I will always be excited to receive and that I tend to go through quickly.

–          Letters! You don’t even have to send me packages, old fashioned letters are always a treat, though I love everyone doubly who sends me regular emails haha. There has been multiple times I have literally laughed out loud in front of my coworkers reading your emails

–          Chocolate. It’s an unhealthy addiction, maybe I eat my feelings. Favorites include: M&Ms (normal and peanut), Reeses, Kit Kats, Chocolove toffee for the CO folks

–          Dried Fruit. Bananas and oranges are the only fruit consistently available here so snacks like raisins etc, are a great break, and they keep for a long time.

–          Salty snacks like goldfish, Cheeze-its, crackers. Available here but expensive.

–          Canned meat like tuna (in water) or chicken. Also available but expensive.

–          Cheese that doesn’t need refrigeration or that comes in single serving packets (Laughing Cow, bluebell, kraft singles, Velveeta all travel well)

–          Facial moisturizer – I like Cetaphil with the SPF

–          Nail polish- ALL THE COLOURSSSSS (apparently you can’t declare it though because the post office doesn’t like to air ship it? Confusing, but they travel fine, just don’t tell USPS)

–          Other girly things that I make me feel good: I only packed 2 pairs of earrings and would be happy to get some more. I thought I could buy some awesome Ethiopian ones here, but the traditional ones aren’t really for daily wear and everything else looks like a unicorn pooped rhinestones all over it.

–           Gum (mint) : if you want banana flavored gum, Ethiopia has you covered! (gross)

–          Magazines: My mom’s got me covered with TIME so if you have leftover Vanity Fair’s, Vogues or other fashion ones I can keep tabs on how much my chaco tan lines are deviating from current trends

–          Hot chocolate packets

–          Random things that are surprises : )

Things you don’t need to send me because either they are easily available, not worth the shipping price for you, or my mom has already sent me a million:

–          Ziplock bags

–          Peanut butter: it would be awesome, but there is a “natural” kind here (aka not sugary haha) that works just fine and it would be expensive to put something that heavy in a box

–          Baby/make-up wipes

–  Notepads, but notebooks of the pocket moleskin variety are cool

Hopefully this is helpful for people struggling to think of things. I’m not expecting anything, but just want to make lives easier.

Sarah Crozier
PO Box 479
Gondar, Ethiopia

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Peace Corps Currency

7 Dec

When we get mail, which is about once every 2.5 weeks, it’s like a mini Christmas. Cardboard and tape litter the floor, joyous gasps abound as beef jerky and Gatorade powder explode open (sometimes over every other item in the package- poor Nick), and letters with month old information are read aloud as mini time capsules (sounds like Hurricane Sandy was a big deal… and maybe there was an election or something).

But after the choice items have been inventoried, the coveted pieces of chocolate and dried mangos (thanks mom!) hidden from view, the training center becomes a mini-market.

Some of the trade items- GUMMY BEARS!

Some of the trade items- GUMMY BEARS!

When you’re living on 30 birr (about $1.50) a day, the barter system becomes very important. Granted I’m not actually living on $1.50 a day as all my meals and my housing is taken care of, but that figure was too hard to figure out and you get the point- M&Ms are worth their weight in gold. And so is tabasco sauce and taco seasoning apparently.

Besides food stuffs, magazines and books are passed around as well. With two copies of TIME magazine and the new JK Rowling book in a package last week, I basically had a waiting list going.

The other highly coveted item is of course toilet paper. Granted, we are handed way more rolls of toilet paper every week than we could ever use, but as our site move-in date creeps closer some volunteers have started to horde tp like squirrels before winter. I myself have a stack of about 8 unused rolls just sitting in my room. Don’t ask me how I plan to transport it to Gonder, the point is that I am flush with tp… pun intended.