Wish List

I'd like to say THANK YOU for all of the love and attention I've received since I've been abroad.  Your emails, letters, and packages have been so very appreciated and helped bring a little bit of home my way.  Since my service is coming to an end, I fear that anything sent from here on on may not make it in time for me to enjoy.  Instead, consider taking me out for a cold beer upon my return!  I can promise you an evening filled with entertaining stories.

[leaving this up for prosperity]
Sending packages to Senegal is fairly easy although it can take a while and can get rather pricey if you don't follow the guidelines below. Basically, I have everything I NEED here in Senegal:  food, shelter, clothing, it's all covered.  Listed below are things that would feel like a treat, would make me miss home less, or would help me with some of my projects (PLEASE NOTE:  I've removed chocolate, jerky, and tea from this list as I think I have enough stock-piled to get me through my service):

Stuff for me:
  • Good old fashioned letters (and these just require an international stamp)
  • Coffee (course-ground for a French Press)
  • Photos of you for my walls!!  I miss all of your lovely faces.
  • Incense to make my world smell nicer
  • Salad dressing mix (like Italian, Ranch, etc.).  I can get vinegar and oil here.
  • Tuna/salmon/chicken pouches (like cans only they weigh less)
  • Dry salami, peperoni, beef sticks, summer sausage
  • The last good book you read
  • Sugar-free powdered hydrating drink mixes (single packs are best) – Propel, Crystal Light, Powerade etc.
  • Protein/Whey powder mixes
  • Indian Food pouches our any other interesting ethnic foods
  • Dried fruits/nuts!!
  • Granola or other good yogurt toppings
  • Crackers (i.e., Triscuits, Wheat Thins)
  • Jello or Pudding mix
  • Savory snacks, like Chex-Mix, Cheez-Its, Cheetoz, Goldfish, Pretzels, or Doritos
  • Music mixes (burned to a CD or sent as mp3)
  • Crossword puzzles cut from your newspaper
Stuff for my Girls club (11-13 yo)
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Beads
  • Craft paper (colored paper or scrapbook design paper)
  • Stickers
  • Fun craft project ideas for this age group
Stuff for my Eco-Ecole (9-11 yo)
  • Ideas for environmental/nature projects
  • Any kind of Go-Green paraphenalia (stickers, buttons, etc.)
How to package the goods:
  • PLEASE put a false amount on the claims slip that will be on the box – something LESS than $10. Tariffs have to be paid on all packages when they're picked-up and the tariff is partly based on claimed value (the other part is purely random.)  I'll pay a minimum 2 bucks on this end for anything sent, but this cost increases significantly if the contents are deemed pricey or the box is overloaded.
  • Don’t send anything that looks nice or expensive – meaning, take things out of their plastic wrapping and put them in zip-loc baggies, remove special packaging and wrap things in newspaper etc.  Why?  All packages get opened at customs and sometimes we get charged extra to pick up our boxes if they think the things inside are worth a decent amount.  
  • Things to write on the box or packing slip:
    1. “Dieu voit tout” (“God sees everything”)
    2. A fake tracking number (see photo)
    3. A low amount to “claim” on the packing slip, like $3 or $6, regardless of what’s actually inside the box.
    4. “Educational Materials,” or “matériaux éducatifs
    5. Packages weighing less than 4 lbs will cost you significantly less to send.  Padded envelopes are the cheapest way to go.
    6. Send me an email to let me know that something is on the way and I'll let you know when it gets to me.
Ideas for packaging
  • Consider packaging things in
    • local newspapers (it's fun to read through them, especially if they include comic strips, crossword puzzles, Sudoko, articles I might be interested in, recipes, juicy news from home etc.)
    • zip-lock bags (I reuse these for all sorts of things)
    • colorful plastic grocery bags (I'm knitting a market bag using "yarn" made out of strips from these bags)
  • And lastly, be patient.  I've received some boxes in just over a week, others have taken 4-6 weeks, and others I'm still waiting on.  Senegal is very much a third world country, the post office is not the least bit efficient, and transportation is always an issue.  I'll let you know when things arrive.


  1. Great information on here. I love the 'God sees everything' and fake tracking n° ideas!

  2. Great information!
    Just to let you know I created this account specially for you. :)

    tu prima Sylvia Y Garza (Muniz)