We went to the International Fair in David today. It was much like the Arkansas State Fair. There were many more things for sale, and there were only cows and horses in the livestock barns. We took Yari, Magdiel and Sister Ana with her daughter, Kathy. It was okay I guess. First time I have ever been to an International Fair. Glad I went.
Yesterday we had tried to mail a letter but our post office was closed. Today the office was open but we could not mail the letter because they did not have any stamps. The reason they did not have any stamps was because they were robbed yesterday morning early. We have to go to David to receive a package anyway, so we will mail the letter there.
We learned today that the reason we have to go to David to receive packages instead of them coming here to Volcan is because our post office has been robbed so many times they will not send them up the hill anymore. Before going to the Fair we went to the post office in David to pick up a package. It had been there for a few days, so we had to pay a rental fee of 85 cents. This is the process: The post office receives the package, then when they get around to it, they send a note to our post office box in Volcan that there is a package. This takes anywhere from 5 days to 5 weeks. Once we are aware of the package we can go pick it up. To do this, you first need to ask which window has the package. They look at the note then send you to the right window. At the right window they confirm that they have the package, and how long they have had it. Then they stamp your paper and send you to a different window. At this (the third) window they will tell you how much money you owe them for the package, and you will pay them that amount. Later I will explain what happened if you do not agree to pay the amount. After paying you are sent back to window #2 (but really #4) where the package is then brought out of the back and you are required to open the package in front of two witnesses. When they are satisfied that the package is safe, and indeed yours, you can leave. Interesting, and very….frustrating!
Okay, so last June I ordered some text books from Amazon. I paid $45.00 to get them shipped International Express (10 days), so I would be sure to have them read for my class that started in August. The books did not arrive throughout the month of July, so on August 4 I re-ordered, and paid $72 to get them here in a week. They were shipped through DHL, and arrived in 21 days. I was thrilled! Only a little over a week late for the class! Still with me? I have my second order of books, and am in the middle of the class in mid-September when the note arrives in our post office box - you have a package in David, please come pick it up. So, we wait until we need to go to David again, and go by the post office. I go to window #1 and she directs me to the correct window #2. There they check the paperwork and tell me that the package has been there for over a month and I need to pay rent of $18 to pick it up. I explain that I just got the notice, and they say that the records indicate it was sent to me over a month ago, so I must pay the rent. I asked what the package is, feeling certain it is the long-lost books (that I no longer need). She says the information is confidential and when I pay the fee I will know. I said, “but what if I don’t want the package?” She just stared at me, then turned and asked the man behind her, “what if she does not want the package she says?” they both look at me like I am crazy then say together, “why don’t you want the package?” I said I do not know what the package is, or who it is from, and you want me to pay $18 to see it – I do not want to pay $18 for a package when I do not know what it is.” Well this went on for a bout 20 minutes, with my temper rising, and nothing changing, so I said “okay, thank you” and walked away. They stopped me at the door and asked what they were supposed to do with the package. I said, “Well, you know what it is, right? So you can figure out what to do with it!” and left. Okay that showed my poorer side, but, the story gets better!
When we went to pick up the package today – it was from a friend in the States to a mutual friend here, and I get to the last window. The lady taps a box that has my name on it. She says “This has been here since last September”. I act innocent and say “Really?” She just shakes her head and asked me to open it. I did. It was, of course the text books ordered twice last summer. The class is over (I passed) and we have no use for the textbooks, but she just handed them over commenting on how bad some of her co-workers were about taking care of business. She did not dun me for the $18, or even a penny. That was it! Now we will try to figure out how we can get the books back to Amazon, who sent the second books without charging for the lost books.
There is always a new adventure here!
Keep us in your prayers!