Saturday, November 13, 2010

some happy kids!

Oh my goodness, the kids are happy.
And who can blame them.
After all, yesterday they got all of this:
We got a package!!!
A Halloween package, none the less.
(yes, a little late - but that is our fault, not our friends who sent it...
more on that in a second)
You should have seen the smiles on the faces. The kids all grabbed an arm full of candy and fun Halloween stuff and started running circles in the house cheering and screaming.
You'd have thought it was....

So we just got the package yesterday, as I said. But it actually arrived in plenty of time for October 31.
The problem was getting to the post office.
First, no car and it is a ways away.
Second, we knew it was no small affair going to the post office. Not like in North America:

Go to the post office.
Wait in line for about a minute or two.
Hand them the card/notice.
Get your package.

Here it is a little more like:
Go to the post office (find a ride, take the jam-packed trole or bus, or, like Eric, risk life and limb by riding your bike).
Arrive at post office.
Lock up your bike; smile very nicely at the guard to make sure he will not let anyone steal your bike.
Go in the post office.
Take a number.... Well, look for a number, but there aren't any.
Have the guy in line in front of you be really really nice and give you one of his numbers, because, of course, he has two.
And wait.
Finally be called.
Pay your money to get your package (not a whole lot, surprisingly, and it is only because you waited too long to get it).
Be instructed to go to a different area.
Hold onto your number, tightly.
(because your number is 98 and they are on 70)
Go for a 8 minutes walk to get a soda.
Walk back.
(is this sounding anything like getting your Official Ecuadorian Identification to anyone else?)
Get called up to a different line.
Get taken to a back room.
Translate for the clerk the contents of the package:
eg: "napkins" = las servilletas, etc.
Watch as she goes through 6 or more pages of documents regarding your package.
Smile nicely as she gives you a paper.
Go to a third place.
Give them the paper.
Watch as that guy goes to the second person you just finished talking to, gets your package from her and then hands it to you.
Breath a sigh of relief that it only took an hour and a half, only cost a few dollars, and most of all, that the whole ordeal is done.

Since the package is from our wonderful friend who actually is from Ecuador, we have decided that she intentionally did this so that we would get to experience more of her lovely culture:

Cost of the contents of the package - lots
Cost to send the package - even more
Knowing your friends are going to go through an "interesting" time at the post office - priceless

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