If you have a smartphone, the best way to contact me is using WhatsApp or Viber. Feel free to email me as well, but it might take a week or so for me to respond due to internet struggles…
Here’s my address at site:
It seems absurdly simple, I know, but that’s it!
And here are some tips from Peace Corps staff and fellow volunteers to ensure that I actually receive said mail…
1. While fairly reliable, the mail service in Rwanda is less than efficient. Letters and packages take between 2-4 weeks to reach me, and anything I send in return could take much longer.
2. Postcards should be sent in an envelope to ensure that they don’t become wall decorations for Rwandan postal workers’ homes. Or, alternatively, make sure you send the ugliest postcards possible.
3. If you are kind enough to send a package, make sure you get a padded envelope or international flat rate box, tape it like crazy, and send it via airmail (write “par avion” on the outside just to make sure). Flat rate envelopes are the cheapest way to go!
4. When you declare the contents, I’ve heard it’s best to fudge the numbers a little bit ($15 or less is ideal). In describing the contents, keep it vague and avoid tempting descriptions like “candy” or “DVDs.” (You might be better off with “school materials” or “Bibles.”)
5. Rwandans are generally very religious. As a final defense against overly curious postal workers, it doesn’t hurt to draw crosses or religious phrases on the outside of the box (not kidding).
I’ve gotten some requests to post a wishlist of items for care packages, so here goes: snacks in general are probably #1 (especially anything flavorful, salty, or crunchy, as Rwanda is lacking in those…), chocolate, trail mix, school supplies, flashdrives with any new TV shows or movies (for my tech savvy friends)… but honestly, anything and everything that you are kind enough to send me will make my day!
THANKS A MILLION!