We have had several people ask us about what items are good to send in a care package to us.
Before discussing what goes in the box lets discuss the box itself. To ensure the box arrives to us within this millennium it is very important to send boxes via US priority mail. They have great flat rate boxes of different sizes that have proven to work well. Though it is considered domestic mail it does need a customs form. There are two possible forms, one for a package under three pounds, and one for over three pounds. They may look slightly intimidating, but really aren’t too bad. A few tips about the customs form… First, when filling in the value of the items and box as a whole, please make sure the total is never over $200. If it is over we will have to pay taxes on it when it arrives. Now when listing the items that the package contains on the form, get creative. Now we aren’t saying lie per say, but we have heard stories of especially good sounding things never making it past Guam. We discourage you from writing “food” items as well for worries about them confiscating it for quarantine. “Toiletries, kitchen supplies, even feminine items” seem to work very well, or magazines etc. Consider this a creative writing assignment! Also its fun to see what you will write and then what is actually in the box! If sent in a priority box it will arrive to us in 6 mailing days. Air Mail (letters and priority mail boxes ) makes it to Yap on Saturdays (thought the post office isn’t open on Sat), Tuesdays and Thursdays when the Continental flight arrives. Parcel mail (boxes that are not priority) come via ship. We mailed ourselves a box on Dec 5 via parcel and it arrived in late January. If you do not send your box priority this too will be your box’s fate.
Another thing to consider is how well the items you send will ship. Could you take the box and put it in your dryer for 3 days and have everything survive intact?, then its ready to ship to us. The temperature at which packages travel is very hot. Chocolate melts unless coated in a candy shell of some sort. Now this isn’t horrible for candy bars as they stay well contained in their wrapper, and tend to cool in a somewhat recognizable form. And we have heard tales of chocolate chips surviving as well, but just keep this in mind, especially if it will leak into the package and affect other items when in liquid form (put it in a zip-loc bag!). Consider crushability (crackers, chips etc) and if the container the items are in are easily breakable.
Now lets get to the good stuff, what to put into the box.
There are some staples that are always important to send. A letter or 12, pictures of friends and family from home, or of home- Seattle, Albuquerque, Fun things to occupy our time (we recently got an origami kit that we love) Though we don’t need a deck of cards. Have an old jigsaw puzzle that you really enjoyed, and will look cool if we hang it on our wall, send it our way! Some great packing material to wrap things in for added protection or to fill and almost full box is newspaper! Send us the front page and local section, comics are great too, but please leave our the sports and classifieds we have no need for these! Magazines. You got em, we want em! We have been given the gift of Newsweek while we are here, but did you cave and buy a People or US weekly lately? Hang on to it until you have a box for us. Old news is better than no news.
Now no care package is complete without some goodies of the food nature. There are many options for what we like, need, and travels well. Just remember to think about what we have available here, especially if sending something that needs other ingredients. Snacks are always welcomed. Snack foods here are limited too and anything that makes us remember home and the larger world out there are great! Just remember the melting rules. We have really enjoyed getting Easy Cheese, it goes well on Pringles which are abundant here.
Below is a list of things we can never get enough of, some of which are available here, but so ridiculously priced its actually cheaper to have them shipped here!:
beef jerky, or beef sticks
nuts- almonds, cashews, walnuts
peanut butter (Mike likes crunchy, Miranda creamy)
breathe mints- Altiods, tic-tacs etc. (they don’t have em here at all!)
non chocolate candy- skittles, jelly beans, Aplets and Cotlets
candy with shells- M&M’s, Reese’s pieces
There are some things we don’t need regularly but will appreciate when sent:
seasoning packets- taco, marinades, stir-fry mixes, gravy packets etc
Noodle and rice side dish packets that just need water and butter
If you do not fear copyright infringement laws, any movies you have and can copy for us to DVD, new music that you know we like.
taco bell fire sauce- steal the packets!
word puzzle books- soduko, crosswords etc
These of course are just some ideas. Have fun with it, we sure do enjoy them! Come up with a themed box, draw smiley faces and hearts on the outside, get your kids to draw us a picture for our fridge…Challenge yourself to see how much you can cram in the box and keep it under the flat rate weight limit! Make us smile! It is amazing how uplifting getting a box or letter from someone who loves and supports us can get us through a rough patch. And yes we have already had a few.
But please don’t feel obligated to send us a package, letters are great too!
Mike and Miranda Nigrey
PO BOX 1191
Colonia, Yap, FM 96943
(Colonia is the city, Yap the state and FM the country)
Don’t let the post office rip you off it is domestic mail!!! We have a zip code!
We hope to walk in here soon and see your handwriting!
funny- notice the handi-capped parking, but stairs on both ends!
Lots of love,
Mike and Miranda