Monday, June 17

Postal Systems

While I have spouted on about my love of snail mail, Abigail especially (but Naomi too) has also caught onto the excitement and specialness of receiving things in the post!

To give you some idea of the postal system for us. Mail gets stamped in Dar Es Salaam when it comes into the country and then gets sent up to Dodoma where it is stamped again. It seems that it isn't a daily service. 

There is no home delivery service (or collection like when we were in Ohio!). To receive mail you need a box at the Post Office. Our letters and packages go to the MAF box which is collected once or twice a week. There is then a wall of 'pigeon holes' in the hangar including a 'Beckwith' one. 

There is absolutely no rhyme or reason as to when or how often post will arrive, so Mark gets to surprise us from time to time with letters ... sometimes a couple of bits or sometimes a whole pile of goodies depending how delayed each step in the system has got and there is often a backlog! It really is a BIG event in grand scheme of things out here to receive anything!

Today we got a nice little pile between us. Abigail was super excited to receive some pictures drawn by Isabelle, a friend now in Australia but who she used to play with every week in Dorset and who was born just two days after her! They are pictured together in the photo below (Abigail on the left) not long before we moved to Ohio and they moved overseas too. They hadn't even celebrated their first birthday's yet! It is hard to imagine this was the last time we saw Isabelle and her family face-to-face ... and now the girls are both almost five years old!

Straight away Abigail has been working on something to send back. It is lovely in the digital world of technology that we now live in, to see someone so little, so excited about both sending and receiving snail mail!

Last month Abigail was lucky enough to receive a parcel from her pre-school in the States, where each and every child in her old class had made her an 'I miss you' card. Those and the lovely letters that her teachers included made me all sentimental and I have to admit that my eyes did a little more than just water! It was such a wonderful gesture and meant so much to Abigail.

I'm glad that so far I'm passing on my love of snail mail to the girls. I have a feeling that living here in Tanzania will just make it mean so much more to them than if we'd stayed living in the UK as post here is just so special!

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