Care Packages!

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has gone so extraordinarily above and beyond and sent us a package already (or 3, Roxanne and Jane)! When it comes right down to it, receiving anything at all is unbelievably exciting and has the magic ability to elevate any day (or week) into the clouds…especially when we’re at site and so incredibly isolated from the world. I thought about writing a public shoutout to each individual who has sent packages and/or letters/cards so far, but instead I’ll just stick to responding with personal letters. Especially since anything we receive at site will reach us at a point when we have no access to the internet to make more public shoutouts. But thank you, to each of you~ no words can describe how much we love hearing from you in any form.

All that said, we have received several requests asking for lists of things that would be useful. Peter may add more later, but this is what I have so far:

~Office-type supplies. Think workshops, interactive activities and projects in a rural third world setting–useful things like markers (of various kinds) various forms of paper (construction, flip-chart, notebooks, etc), tape, scissors, organization tools, pens, pencils, etc are all low quality and extremely expensive here (not to mention we have absolutely no access to them at site). For example, I’m currently trying to improvise a rain resistant white board as well as find affordable dry erase markers that work. I found a very small ready-made white board for the equivalent of $30, not including markers. I thought I’d just buy posterboard and get it laminated, but the laminating machine (the only one I can find in the only city I can currently get to) is broken. Oi. Where are the Target back to school sales when you need them?

~Pictures. We want updated pictures of friends and family! And even pictures of walks around town or anywhere else. Pictures of you all help us feel connected to you on a day to day basis, and pictures of the US help keep our own home in perspective help us feel connected to it as well.

~Books. While we have a half decent collection of books to share with other volunteers, it does not have everything. If you’ve read something (anything) you feel inclined to share with us, we would love that. Also, as one wonderful person has already asked, if you feel inclined to donate books to the library Peter will be building, we will accept just about any and all kinds! (No pornography of any kind, please. It’s illegal here.) The only trouble with books is they are heavy and may cost a fortune to send to us~ so keep your shipment receipt! If it’s for a Peace Corps donation, you should be be able to use it for a tax write-off.

~Apart from that, anything that you see as a useful resourse for any of our projects would absolutely be welcomed. Our projects, off the top of my head, will involve the following:

  • Community Health Education: HIV/AIDS, STIs, personal hygiene and sanitation, environmental health, domestic violence, youth leadership, substance use (alcohol, cigarrettes, marijuana, and kava), family planning, first aid, special needs awareness and understanding (especially resources for teachers not trained in the subject), and NCDs
  • Community Health Projects: water sanitation and toilets in a rural tropical setting with a rapidly growing population
  • Education in general (Peter): Library (general and/or primary school level), world map, all levels English literacy, teaching 5th and 6th graders, Special Needs education/Inclusive Education, health education in the classroom, teaching teachers and improving curriculum in a rural school
  • General/Other: Girl/boy scout program development/structure/resources, grant writing, fundraising, community motivation and mobilization (in a good way), community development (especially avoiding the mistakes the “developed” world has made), and…..that’s all I got for now.

So that’s a lot, and a list probably would have been easier to glance through, but my brain just isn’t functioning that way right now. As we dive into our actual work I can probably get more precise next time I have access to the internet. That said, ANY contributions about any of the above, whether material or ideas that pop into your head after scanning this post, we would love to hear them. And food. Anything that can survive traveling thousands of miles in potentially blistering heat will be adoringly accepted. 😉

We love you all. Thank you again for being the type of person to be in our lives, support us, keep tabs on us during this adventure, and all that that means for you. Thank you sooo much, tankyu tumas, merci, campolangi tamma, gracias, shokran! (I don’t know all these languages, just how to say “thank you”)

UPDATE: Peter wants raw black beans. And he says that if/when he runs formal book drives, he should be able to get funding for shipping!


4 thoughts on “Care Packages!”

  1. We will get on it and roust our friends, family, and coworkers as well! Sounds as though you are up to speed and busy as usual. You two never were a couple of slackers. Best of luck and miss you both!
    I just finished part I of an Excel PC class and begin part II next week. Need it so when I am working on a spreadsheet I don’t “misplace” pages. Took most of January off to regroup myself, but spent a lot of it with repair people after we had a massage power surge (in our 4 home group here)that knocked out and burned up almost all of our appliances from televisions and CD players, to dishwashers. My furnace was the biggest ticket item I lost that day. Will miss seeing you at the auction this year!!!!! Marcy and I are going-of course. Weather here is overcast, but no liquid sunshine, just frosty and foggy. Got my tax paperwork off to the accountant today. How do you do that from there? File later, get an extention? And voting-do you use absentee ballots? Do you have special driving permits? Is it scarey to drive. Let me tell you, in Nairobi it is taking your life in the other guy’s hands if you’re not used to how they drive in Kenya!
    No big vacations coming up. For my birthday my BFF from high school and I are going to meet in Long Beach, WA for two nights. We got a deal on the Living Social pages so are packing up our dogs, who actually get along, and terrorizing the shore for a couple days.
    Take care, sleep well. Hope to hear from you soon! Hugs!!!

    1. I can never say it enough…YOU ARE WONDERFUL! Thank you!

      Sounds like life has been…chaotic to say the least. I’m glad to say it suonds like much of it is sorted out and things are returning to normal. I wish we could be at the auction! Have enough fun for all of us, and let us know how it goes. Tell Marcy hellllooooo

      Overcast sounds….muggy, sticky and hot. But then I doubt that is anything like how you’re experiencing it there. I would probably be freezing my tail off.

      My wonderful mama will be helping with our taxes again this year. I think, because we are living out the country, we get an automatic, extention, but I’m not 100% sure. We also can register to vote as absentees, though I didn’t get it done before I left. Peter did, but so far hasn’t succeeded in getting his ballots in the mail on time (This detail may be inaccurate, I’m not entirely sure). We are actually not allowed to drive here- nothing with a motor. Not that I’d want to, it’s pretty frightening here, between the conditions of the roads and the complete lack of (enforced) driving laws.

      I started a new book yesterday that’s set in Kenya, an autobiography about a woman who falls in love with a Masai and moves there to be with him. Though I think she’s insane, I’m loving reading about her transition and interaction with such a unique culture. It’s very reassuring given my current setting. It’s calle the White Masai, by Corinne Hofmann. Given your time there, if you ever read it I’d love to hear your thoughts.

      Long Beach with a couple of fluffy friends sounds wonderful. Enjoy yourselves and I’m sure we’ll talk again sooner than later! I’ll be in town an alarming amount of time in the next month.

      There is also a letter or two in the mail for you!

      love you!


  2. I just looked up your new home. Now I’m really jealous. You’re down so near our favorite place, Fiji. James and I spent two weeks in Fiji and loved it but it was too short. We have plans to go back asap.

    Anyway, by all means -Peter- let us know when you’re doing your book drive and we will be glad to donate whatever books we can find that would be useful/informative/entertaining to the new library. I will keep my eyes out for them. I’m excited and wish we could make it out there while you’re still there…so sad 😦


    1. It is pretty amazing here–especially our home on Erromango. If you make it to Fiji within the next two years, you will either have to pop over and visit us, or hide from me that you are there–it would be so sad for you to be so close and not see you!

      I will pass the message to Peter (make sure he reads the comment). Thank you for the offer! You are wonderful! Take care!


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