Friday, January 10, 2014

The Joy of Receiving Mail!

There's nothing like being far from home to experience joy from small things, especially when they arrive in the mail! 

Thanks to an email sent out by my mom before Christmas, I was blessed to receive 19 Christmas cards and at least one is still on the way.  Sometimes there would be 3 cards waiting for me in the post office box and I would be so excited to see what was inside.  Even in the States I like receiving snail mail, but it is while I am in Rwanda that my family and friends are really stepping up to the plate.  I started taping the cards to the wall and now we have quite a festive, colorful wall in our living room.  Thank you very much!

Gifts from the Magi in my life
The other thing that is funny to me is how gifts that would be really lame to receive in the States reign supreme in their ability to bring me great joy over here.  Most of the time they are practical gifts for the house, things that could easily be found at Target or Walmart but aren't easily available here.  The packages I received on Monday from my cousin, Nicole, and a Denver friend, Tanya, are great examples of this principle.  These were mystery packages, meaning I didn't know what would be in them, but I squealed with delight as I read the customs lists on the front of the boxes. 

What type of things made me so happy?  First of all, two red cloth and silicon pot holders, to which you say, "Really?  Pot holders were the best part?"  YES!  We use the stove three times a day and most of our pots need pot holders to handle because they don't have handles or have metal ones.  Imagine using thin hand towels to handle these hot pots and you can appreciate pot holders that are reliable.   I was so happy to get them.  Another example: two calendars, one from the Archdiocese of Denver and the other from Holy Protection Byzantine Catholic Church also in Denver.  Not only can I know what the date is easily, but I am reminded of the friends and churches in Denver and the saints that are celebrated each day.  These calendars connect me to life back home.  I was also thrilled to receive other products for the kitchen (like chicken bouillon, chocolate, and resealable plastic bags) and things to share with the students (like movies and snow in a can).  The students have probably never touched snow in their lives; they might have seen it from afar if they live near the mountains in Volcano National Park in the northwest.  I also laughed out loud at the Christmas-themed gifts: a stocking, three pairs of Christmas socks, two ornaments (seen on our sad tree which we will keep up until Feb. 2), and of course, the snow in a can.

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