Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mail Time! Mail Time!


For those who wish to send me mail and/or packages (completely not necessary, but always fun) here's the DL (down low).

RECEIVING MAIL:
All of our mail is delivered to the office compound via PO boxes. I can receive mail at the following address:

IBSA
c/o Heather Moss
PO Box 1759
Edenvale 1610
South Africa

Know that it takes a while to get here. Expedited mail usually takes 1-2 weeks to arrive from the States. The normal system takes several weeks longer.

If you're in the states you can send me mail at anytime, but there are some guidelines that you need to follow (and highly suggested) when sending packages to me in South Africa. Here they are, deep breath:

1. MARK THE OUTSIDE, "UNSOLICITED GIFTS": Clearly mark the following somewhere on the outside of the package: "Unsolicited Gifts." It's also a good idea to write "For Personal Use - Not For Resale" on the customs sticker that is included with the package.

2. YOU NEED A CUSTOMS / INTERNATIONAL STICKER: You can get these from the post office. This gives you a place to give a general list of items included in the package and how much each item is worth. Do NOT list the actual (paid) price of items on the outside of the package or on this form. You will have to pay 1/2 of what is listed as the worth to the customs officials. For example, if an item is listed as costing $20... you will have to pay $10 to get the package from customs. The price listed should be the garage sale price of the item. Once an item is purchased and removed from its original packaging, it is no longer new. The resale (or garage sale) price is sufficient and truthful. 

3. TAKE IT OUT OF IT'S ORIGINAL PACKAGING: Anything included in the package needs to be taken out of the original wrapping/container. For example, a CD/ DVD should be unwrapped/ opened, any original boxes for items should not be included, etc.

4. SENDING FOOD? Please remove the items from their original package/ box/ bag and put them in a sealed Ziploc bag. The reason for this is two-fold. First, it will appease the customs officials for not looking like you're importing goods from the States. Secondly, the sealed bags will also seal the smell of the food and protect it from rats. Many individuals have received packages with holes in them... and the food half-eaten by rats. 

5. MAILING BAGS / ENVELOPES: Large mailing bags (no matter the size or weight), manilla envelopes (even the thick padded ones), regular letters or envelopes, postcards, etc, are easily received and rarely opened by the customs officials. I may have to pay a small fee for receiving large bags/envelopes, but it is usually only a few dollars. Letters are not read - whether they're in an envelope or a package, but packages (boxes) are almost always opened by the customs officials. Usually there isn't a problem with receiving all that is in a package (unless an electronic item is included), but keep in mind that there is a slight chance that something could be confiscated. No one should send me anything electronic in the mail. It will NOT get to me.

6. SECURITY: There is no problems with sending Christian materials or items. Because I'm an American, it is assumed that I am a Christian and expected that I will receive Christian/ spiritual types of things. Don't worry about that.

If you have any questions or concerns, 
just shoot me an email.

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