We got our very first hand written letter today!
Each day as I check my email there is always a little anticipation of "who has written today." I did the same thing at home. An email with a friends name attached is so much more fun than all the junk mail that you get and delete! Emails are quick and easy. You can write down all your thoughts and then if you don't like it you can cut, paste, undo, redo and delete with ease. Today as we went to pick up the mail for the missionaries, there in the stack of letters was one addressed to Paul and Eilene Hezseltine. It was from our dear friends The Almonds in London. We were shocked. Everyone has been so kind to email us that we never really expected an actual "real" letter. I know how time consuming they are. I had forgotten the joy and excitement a real, handwritten, tangible letter can bring. We sat in the post office and carefully opened the aerogram not wanting to tear the paper. We both read it and then it went into my purse. It has stayed there so I can read it whenever I want. Sometimes I just like to touch it. Amazing what little things bring such joy.
This is NOT a solicitation for hand written letters. I would like to challenge everyone to take the time to write a letter. Find a note card or some stationary (do they still make it?) and write a letter or thank you note to someone that has touched your life, that you haven't heard from for a while or that you think could use a kind word. I think you will find that there is as much joy in the giving as in the receiving.
Since we are talking about letters I thought I would let you know how the mail system works here in Liberia. There is no mail delivery service. You can only get mail if you have enough money to pay for the rental on the post office box. When you want to buy a stamp you must stay and watch the worker get out her roller ball glue stick and actually put the stamp on the letter. They have been know to take the money for the stamp, wait for you leave, never adhere the stamp, toss the letter and keep the money. Then there are the packages. We have to go to a window and tell them our box number they then go and check to see if there are any. That takes about 30 minutes. If there are some it takes another 30 minutes for them to do what they do (recording the tracking number or something - they usually do that 2-3 times in different books by different people) Every package we have picked up has been opened and re-taped shut. When we ask them about it they say that it was opened in America. We have packages coming from all over the world but they are all opened in America? Or they tell us to open the packages and tell them what is missing. We can't do that as the packages aren't ours and we don't know what they contained in the first place. This last time we were there at 3:15 and at 4:00 the lights were turned out and we were told we would have to come back even though our packages were on the counter in front of us. The next day another missionary went back at 10 am and she was told to come back at 2 pm. She went back at 2 pm and it took her an hour to get the packages. Be thankful for a reliable postal service!!!!