Yesterday was swear-in, but yesterday was also the day I got my first care package! Yay! I also found out that I don’t get to move into my house on Saturday like everyone else, so I was a little bummed, but then I got handed the slip of paper that said I had a parcel waiting for me at the post office, so I felt a lot better. My mom told me that they had sent me this package 3 weeks ago, so it has been one of those little things that I have been looking forward to which helped me get through all the hard stuff. My move in day was another one of the things I was looking forward to, but I guess I get to look forward to that a little longer. The place has termites, so there’s nothing I can really do except wait while the problem gets taken care of.
Anyway, so I went to the post office to pick up the package after our swear-in ceremony was done. I paid the $5 processing fee, and mentioned loudly and many times that I was a Peace Corps Volunteer so that I wouldn’t have to pay duty on the contents. The customs officer opened my package and glanced over it. A package of tea had spilled open inside of it and had covered everything in flakey dried tealeaves. The customs officer gave me a raised eyebrow, but I hurriedly explained that it was just tea and nothing untoward. Obviously I have a trustworthy face, because she just shrugged and let me take my package without dismantling everything inside. She also didn’t charge be any duty fees. I then took the box and went on my merry way. It was quite heavy, so one of my fellow volunteers helped me lug it around for a while. Then, I was able to look very pathetic at the end of the day and convince my bus driver that it would be a good thing to drive me 10 minutes out of his way to drop me off at my house so I wouldn’t have to carry it from the main road. Once I got to my host family’s house, I was finally able to go through it and see all of the wonderful things that my mom and dad sent me.
Some of the stuff were things I had bought but couldn’t take with me when I left the US, some of the stuff were things from my room, and some of the stuff were brand new surprises.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my parents for sending me this stuff. It’s hard to adequately express how grateful I am and what a big pick-me-up this was.
On a more important note, the island of Dominica was hit extremely hard by Tropical Storm Erika during the last few days. There has been massive flooding, landslides, and infrastructure damage. There has been 14 fatalities last I checked, with more missing in inaccessible areas. There are 8 members of my group on Dominica who were supposed to swear in today, but have had to postpone and try to keep themselves safe along with the other people of the country and the current volunteers. The situation in that country is bad, and considering the limited resources, it could remain bad for quite a while. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.