Lots of you have been asking about care packages. Can you send them and how long will it take and what happens when they come through customs. Your concern and care, just in the asking, is hugely encouraging and supportive of us. Thank you!
Here’s the deal: right now we are going through culture shock. Everything is new and different and it all (or a lot of it, anyway) rubs the wrong way. This is normal. It is not something to run away from but something to work through. In order to do this, we have to slow way down, be flexible, and focus on the heart of what matters, i.e. being together, bed time read alouds, eating healthy, getting good sleep.
Perhaps this is one of the drawbacks of blogging. You get to see the hard stuff much more quickly and closer up than you would if I were corresponding via snail mail. (And if I was doing snail mail, I’d be sharing these details with only a handful of close friends and family.) So there’s that.
Also, maybe I am being too honest? I want to tell it like it is, but I don’t want to come across as a complainer. Transitions are hard for me, and they are super hard for at least one of our children (the one who just woke up and is informing me that she’s not going anywhere today).
What we are going through affects you—I need to be aware of that. No one likes to watch someone else flounder about like a fish, and for those of you who know us well, listening and watching without being able to do is a yucky place to be.
Which brings me to the point of this post: what you can do.
By far, the most important thing you can do is just listen and offer encouragement. Your emails and Facebook/blog/twitter comments are HUGELY encouraging. Knowing that you’re following along on our journey gives us strength, more so than I thought possible.
practicing new skills while reading emails
But some of you want to do more than that, something concrete, like care packages. I adore care packages, but in the name of honesty, let me be perfectly clear: we don’t need anything. Almost everything can be found in this country (if you’re willing to pay). I mean, Walmart is here (not that we intend the shop there). People live here all their lives and manage just fine. There are Twix bars and excellent coffee and rolling pins and whole wheat flour. There are drills and shoes and clocks and detergent.
True, at first glance many things are hard to find, things like baking soda, cocoa powder, forks (I found some and I bought a whole pack of 36 [they didn't have smaller quantities]—let’s have a party!), long ignitors, easy-to-light matches, sturdy clothespins, floor mats, good DVDs, lactaid pills, etc. But that doesn’t mean those things aren’t here!
Still, if you want to send care packages (and I have no idea how long they will take or what will happen in customs or how much they cost), we will jump all over them.
Our mailing address is:
c/o Comite Central Menonita
19 Avenida 5-94 Zona 11
Ciudad de Guatemala
(Keep in mind that all our mail goes to the capital, and once it arrives, it might sit there for a couple more weeks until we get into the capital.)
Another option is that MCC has opened a personal drawing account (PDA)for us. This account is for our personal expenses like vacation, ice cream, clothing—all things we need to pay for ourselves. You can write checks to MCC and put our names in the memo line and the money will go into our PDA. Contact MCC to confirm the procedure. Also, money gifts (in this format) are not tax deductible.
Yet another option is that you can just give money to our church (Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia) with “Guatemala Project” in the memo line. This money will help cover unanticipated expenses, give us some funds to work with at Bezaleel school, help pay for child care and Spanish studies for the children, cover our medical costs, etc. This money is tax deductible.
And yet another option is to donate directly to MCC. This will not help us outright, but it will help the agency we work for. And it might be a healthy outlet for your care and concern for the people here and in many other countries where MCC does relief and development work.
Much love to you all. You guys rock.