Packages oh Packages!

10 03 2010

So I received today I hope the first of many care packages. I knew I had one coming but didn’t know how long the Ugandan mail system would take. Apparently USPS international postal service is fairly on time and it took two weeks to get here. Before I show you the loot, I need to write about the mail system.

We have a PO Box where we receive international mail and so I headed over there. I opened the box and there was a slip saying I had a package waiting for me at the main post office. The slip also said I had to pay 3,000 shillings because they had held my package for more than 7 days. I didn’t care because I was more excited about getting something in the mail. So I get to the main post office and waited in line after line after line. This wasn’t going to be easy. I finally got to the right line in parcels on the 2nd floor. I gave them my slip and they said to take a seat. Are you kidding? There’s no one in front of me, I just want my package. Five minutes later they come out with my box. Then they said I had to sign a receipt and show them my ID. No big deal. I started getting frustrated when they said I couldn’t take my box yet because I had to show them the receipt that I had paid the 3,000 shillings. So I moved five feet down the counter to another gentlemen who moved slower than a snail to match my parcel receipt with the original receipt. He then asked for my ID. I told the guy, ‘uh that dude just checked my ID’. He didn’t care and just proceeded to write another receipt for me to sign and then said ‘you can’t leave yet, go take this receipt to the man over there on the opposite wall. So by now, I am just about to go postal (not really, but it would have been funny since I was in a post office) and proceeded to take yet another receipt to another man writing down something on a ledger. He asked for my ID. You have to understand the comedy and inefficiency in all this. All three men can see each other and all three have identical ledgers saying the same thing – I have paid and signed for my package. So I obliged one last time, showed my ID, signed the man’s ledger and darted out the door holding my package like it was Christmas day!!! Total time in line: 30 minutes.

Let’s just say I was not too impressed with the efficiency of the post office.

But it was all worth it because….

I hit the motherload. Thank you Caitlin, Kevin, Harrison, Liz and Hadley. Toiletries check, chocolate check, jif peanut butter check, pens check, magazine check, valentine’s card from Hadley priceless. You have made my day!!!