Monday, April 26, 2010

A Note to All Wanting to Send Cooper a Present...

We've had a number of folks ask about sending presents to Cooper here in the Middle East.  It's really pretty nice to be out of sight, but still on people's minds.  Plus, we think it's great that you love our baby!
Jordanians LOVE babies (see Suzi's entry), so there's a large of selection in the way of wipes, diapers, etc.  There's even a local company, called Fine, that competes well with Pampers & Huggies.  There's not a custom of baby showers here.  It's more of a rolling shower, in which people stop by for a few minutes, drop off a gift and leave... much like the visits during feasts and holidays.  The church and our neighbors, even our landlord, have given us all kinds of blankets, clothes, etc.  I've mentioned in the past that some of Suzi's friends here have kicked in bottle sterilizers, cribs, etc.  Just like in the States, clothes get shared and gear gets passed around in the ex-pat community.

So, regarding mailing a package overseas... 
  It's expensive to send: to the tune of $50-$75 for a Flat Rate USPS box. 
  It's expensive to receive: we've now found that insured packages coming from the States are subject to customs fees of about 30%.  That means $100 worth of stuff costs me $30 to bail outta the pokey.  That also doesn't take into account the hassling and haggling you get at the main post office downtown in the form of a little man in a uniform pawing thru everything in the box, throwing it back in and waving you off to wander the halls, peering into smoke-filled offices for a minimum of five signatures and stamps.  Or the laundry-list of interrogations about why someone in America would send you anything and why you wouldn't just buy it here. 
At which point, I usually start waving my arms and yelling, "Gifts, guys... they're GIFTS!"
That doesn't seem too help much, but does reinforce the stereotype that Americans are generally nuts and thus make for good entertainment.

So, here's what we ask: 
Since we've arrived, it's become very expensive to take multiple bags on overseas flights (think $275 for a 70lb third bag), so we probably will have to leave some stuff in Jordan to passed on to other folks.  We're going to be back in the States for Thanksgiving and will need clothes for Cooper then.  If we could have 7+ mo old clothes waiting when we arrive, that would help us tremendously.
Again, we want say thanks for thinking of us out here and wanting to be a blessing to our family.  It means so much to know you care about us!


Christina Blash said...

What a great idea! =) ... I'm sure a few packages of Skittles waiting for you when you come back would be welcome. =D Hehe! Love you all!

Sara said...

Wow, didn't realize it was so expensive to send packages overseas or that you got haggled over what you recieve!