One thing we missionaries love is to get mail!
Here in Ghana, there are no mailboxes at people's houses. In fact, for most Ghanaians, they will never receive one piece of mail in their entire lifetime! Since the majority of the people here are illiterate, there is no junk mail, no bills (sent through the mail), and no personal correspondence.
Compared to the average man's normal income, a single stamp costs 25% of a day's wages! To put it in perspective, that means that if you were working 40 hours a week at $6.50/hr., you would be paying $13.00 for every stamp! I know postage is getting expensive in the States, but I'm pretty sure it's not that bad yet!
We receive our mail in a post office box. Once a week, on our way to town to do all our shopping, we check our mail. It is always exciting to get a letter or card or even a customs declaration telling us to go pick up a package at the main post office downtown.
Truth be told, many missionaries we know have lots of problems with their post offices in their respective countries -- extremely slow processing, lost packages, stolen articles, etc. We've found, though, that most of the probems we have with our mail have to do with the people who prepare our mail to come to Ghana. Sometimes, the people writing us mislabel our mail, like the time somebody sent a letter to us in Ghana, South Africa. (That may not seem too confusing to you, unless you know that Ghana and South Africa our both countries -- like sending a letter to someone in America, Canada.) Sometimes, the postal workers get confused, and label our mail for another similar sounding country, like Guyana (in South America) or Guinea (in Africa). And sometimes.........well, I guess this one just has to be chalked up to computer error........
Can you read that stamp......MISSENT TO THAILAND....????????
Your guess is as good as mine!