Monday, January 23, 2017

Tips for sending mail to us...

In looking for a picture for the blog posts (which I promise are coming in fact I am working on them right after this) I came across a couple of blogs of friends which were very comprehensive and helpful I thought in giving information about mailing to us in Papua New Guinea.

I have largely copied and pasted with some little changes here and there to match our family. I hope since I admitted to lifting it in large part I won’t get in trouble for plagiarism J.

Anyway, I thought rather than posting it on facebook I would put it here on the blog for reference for any folks who wanted…

Also as a point of reference here is a link to our “How to bless your missionary” portion of our website,

Our address for mailing is:
SIL
PO Box 1 (384)
Ukarumpa, EHP 444
Papua New Guinea

Letters:
For small items that just fit inside a letter-sized parcel, it should be fairly straight forward to just go to the post office counter and pay the correct postage to get it here.

Flat Rate Boxes through USPS:
USPS Flat rate boxes are usually the easiest and most economical way to send packages to PNG as it is a set price for up to a certain weight (the large boxes can hold 20 lbs at no extra cost). Also, it comes with free tracking. For a list of boxes and prices you can visit USPS’s website.

You can also send a few bucks by printing your own Flat Rate Postage
{Purchase Flat Rate Postage}

Of course you can use any box you like. :) 
Books Only:
If you want to bless us with some reading material, we have idea lists for books for the boys and us grownups. But you are always welcome to pass along a favorite of yours. One great site for books that I always recommend is Better World Books. It is a company that is dedicated to keeping books out of landfills, as well as promoting and funding literacy programs around the world. As a bonus, they provide FREE international shipping no matter if you are buying 1 book or 20. You can order from the site and have it mailed directly to us no dealing with customs forms or figuring out postage. We have had several orders shipped to us here in PNG no problems.

Customs Form:
You will have to fill out a customs form with packages at the Post Office. Each Post Office seems to require different forms and levels of detail on those forms. The one we have had success with is a white form (Form 2976-A) with carbon copies. You will have to list out the items you are sending, so we recommend writing out a separate list of what your packed and taking it with you so you aren’t left guessing at the PO.

Here are some tips on how to list things you are sending:
·         Food items should be listed as “culinary items”
·         If you send any kind of media (CD’s, DVD’s, flashdrives, etc…) list it as “entertainment media” or something along those lines. It will be less likely to be confiscated this way.
·         Group similar things under one heading (ie don’t list out all the medicines individually, just label them “medical supplies” and write a quantity.
·         General descriptions are fine, you don’t have to be super specific (although some Post Offices might be more demanding in this regard).
·         Some Post Offices are more strict than others. It’s possible they will ask you to list individual weights next to each item. In that case, you should be able to just put down estimates that add up to the total weight of the box.
Other information for the Customs Form:
All overseas mail is now airmail; you don’t have the option of sending by sea 
(rf. #6 on Form 2976-A)
Check the box for “Gift” on the customs form to describe the contents (rf. #5 on Form 2976-A)

Other Tips:
Please pack any food items extra well, as rats often can get to it before we can, especially if it ends up sitting in a hanger or Post Office somewhere for awhile.

Regardless of how fast you pay to have it shipped, there is no guarantee it gets here in that time frame. It will probably hit PNG shores in that amount of time, but once it is in country, who knows how long it takes! Packages tend to take 3-6 weeks to get to us. All that to say, please don’t spend extra money trying to get it here super fast!

It’s always fun to get mail, and some days a simple card or letter is a big encouragement. If you’d like to send a care package but have a little extra room, some extra fillers that we love would include:

·         * Seasoning packets (taco, dressings, frosting flavors, etc.) but please no MSG or high fructose corn syrup if possible, it really causes issues for us.

·         *Tea – Earl gray, English breakfast and peppermint are favorites

·         *Candy – dark chocolate, peanut/peanut butter m&m’s, peanut butter cups, sour apple rings, jelly beans, gum, lollipops, and life savers are favorites

·         *True Lemon or Stur water inhancers with stevia

·        * Dried fruit – like cranberries, cherries, and apple slices

·         *School/craft supplies

·         *Flashdrives, CD’s or DVD’s (you can can also load a flashdrive with funny or interesting YouTube videos, audiobooks, podcasts, music or shows!)

·         *Pepperoni or jerky (MUST be sealed and packaged VERY well, to deter rats and other critters)

·         *Parmesan Cheese (Not fresh!)

·       *  Granola bars

·         *Fruit snacks or other little packaged non-refrigerated snacks you would take on a hike,  road trip or put in your kids lunch boxes.

*Glow sticks or other glowy things like these finger lights, foam gliders, balloons or similar kinds of things that Liam and Julien can share with their friends or we can pull out on hard days to give them a smile! 

·       *  Small notebooks, sticky notes
 
      As always we thank you for being a part of the ministry and taking the time to read out posts, pray for us and support us. We could not be here without you all.




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