Snail Mail Me & Wish List

Being 27 months away from the "comforts" of home will indeed leave me missing family, friends, and, of course, American goodies. Between September 2013 and November 2015 I would love to hear from you and receive mail – email is great but snail mail is better - particularly since internet access is going to be sketchy. So dust off your cards and international stamps and write me updates on your life and any happenings in the US. Anything will be appreciated! 
If you want to be even more generous, you can send me some good ole American comfort items (refer to Wish List below). Given that Cameroonian mail is...well...Cameroonian, please read mailing tips below on best practices to ensure that your package full of American love gets to me.

Once I get my post in November 2013, my address will change to my village address or nearby regional Case house. But while I am in my 10 weeks of training (September 2013-November 2013) all mail and packages can be sent to this address:
Karen Kilberg
B.P. 11
Tibati, Adamaoua
Cameroun

M A I L   T I P S
1.       Number your letters! This way if a letter goes missing I will know – oh, and perhaps keep a running tab for which number you are on by your desk so I don’t get five #5 letters in a row, that would be confusing.
2.       Insure your package, even if for $1. I believe the package then has ‘Insured’ written on it which scares Cameroonians away from attempting to peep inside. Or if you really don’t want to insure it for $1, I have read that you can write ‘Insured’ and ‘Assuré’ on the package.
3.       Put less valuable items on top so that if the package does get opened, it’ll look worthless (but really, this shouldn’t happen!).
4.       Don’t send money in the mail - this should really be a no-brainer.
5.       Don’t send anything valuable. If there is something expensive that needs to be sent, email/message me so that I can send you the contact information of incoming trainees or volunteers to Cameroon that can pack it in their suitcases.
6.       Write the address in red ink. I have read that sometimes people think this means it is an important package that would result in big trouble if it gets damaged/lost/stolen so the postmen won’t take their chances.
7.       Put religious symbols or Bible/Qur’an verses on the box. According to my professor who lived in Cameroon for quite some time, if you put Bible verses on the box then the post office workers will just think it’s a box full of useless Bibles/Qur’ans – or the flip side they won’t want to get in trouble with the Big Man.
8.       Send by Air Mail – its faster and more reliable than ground mail.
9.       No perishables as it may take up to a month (or two) for me to get the package.

W I S H  L I S T
·         Give me Cellphone credit!!!
·         Barnes and Noble eGift Cards for my Nook 
·         Vegetable Seeds
·         Spices!
·         Starbucks VIA packets
·         Crystal Light (and other brands besides Gatorade) Drink Packets
·         Soup Packets
·         Dried lentils, dried chickpeas, and quinoa
·         Tea bags (anything but basic black - like fruity/green/etc!)
·         Walnuts and Almonds (no peanuts, please!) and/or Almond Butter
·         Simple Sauce Packets/bottles (Pad Thai, Pesto, Etc)
·         Fancy Toiletries (face masks, scrubs, etc) 
·         Dried Fruit and Trail Mixes
·         Candy
·         Scented Candles
·         Deodorant and Nice Razors
·         Granola (gluten-free granola would be even 100x better!)

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