Friday, September 16, 2005

show me yours, i'll show you mine

Sending mail during Pre Service Training (PST)

[Edited], Peace Corps Trainee
P.O. Box 30518
Nairobi, Kenya

The mail service in Kenya is not as efficient as the U.S. Postal Service. Thus, it is important to be patient. It can take three to four weeks for mail coming from Kenya to arrive in the United States via the Kenyan postal system. From a Volunteer's post, mail might take 1-2 months to reach the United States. Sometimes mail is hand carried to the States by a traveler and then mailed through the US postal system. This leg of the trip can take another several weeks, as it is also dependent on the frequency of travelers to the U.S.

Both parents and Volunteers like to send and receive care packages through the mail. Unfortunately, sending packages can be a frustrating experience for all involved due to the possible theft and heavy customs taxes. You may want to try to send inexpensive items through the mail, but there is no guarantee that these items will arrive. We do not recommend, however, that costly items be sent through the mail. Even though Volunteers choose to get local post office boxes, you may use the following address to send letters to your family member at any time during his or her service:
[Edited], PCV
U.S. Peace Corps
P.O. Box 30518
Village Market, 00621
Nairobi, Kenya

We recommend that packages be sent in padded envelopes if possible, as boxes tend to be taxed more frequently. Custom fees can be quite expensive. For lightweight but important items (e.g. airline tickets), several services, such as DHL, FedEx, TNT, and UPS operate in Kenya. These services however, are very expensive, and can cost as much as $70 for a letter.

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