A Long Mail Call.

September 30, 2012

A few weeks after I returned to Paraguay in June, my mom sent a package that included several Chinese outfits for the Schell kids. She even paid extra to ensure the timely arrival of the box for Mi Esperanza’s Missions Sunday. Normally, when sent priority, packages reach my post office box approximately ten days from the original postmark. Of course, this time, since we were waiting in haste, the ten days passed with nothing to show for them.

Eventually those ten days turned into several weeks and then one month and then I gave up hope, feeling discouraged every time I left the post office empty-handed again. It wasn’t the first time a package directed to me in Paraguay had gotten lost. After my mom later sent another box of treats that arrived without delay, I truly came to grips with the fact that the original parcel was likely never to be seen.

Then on a routine trip to the post office, the lady at the counter casually mentioned that there was an item that required pick-up in the downtown postal building, where all mail arrives and is then distributed accordingly throughout the city. [Sidenote: Paraguay does not have a national postal system hence the lack of zip codes, etc. on my mailing address. Furthermore, places like the locale where we missionaries keep our post box are individual private businesses. Fun fact for the day.]

After a long and borderline hazardous drive to the mostly nonsensical disarray of downtown Asuncion (label your streets, please!), I found the rundown building, where apparently all mail comes to die. Out of about 35 employees in the area, literally only one looked like they were doing some semblance of work. 20 minutes of wrangling and explaining myself over and over about a mysterious package, the box of Chinese clothes gloriously surfaced and I may have heel-kicked in a fit of excitement and relief.

The end result was so worth the wait:

Sweet baby Cheez-its, is this not one of the cutest things you’ve ever seen?

My honorary Chinese dumplings. <3

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