Thursday, November 15, 2012

Care Packages

Tanya mailed New Year's gifts to Siberia yesterday.  Gifts for her sister, Luda, her niece and nephew, Ksenia and Slavik, her grand niece Uliana and even something for her cousin's 3 year old grandson, little Tolik.  I wanted to send Tolik a set of wrenches and screwdrivers which for him would be an even better gift than drums or bagpipes but Tanya thought not as I would never be able to go there again.  (At age two, Tolik loosened the wheels on his great grandmother's wheelchair so they fell off and dumped her..."Get up, Babushka...")

Tanya took three bags of stuff to the Post Office.  All unwrapped, as the Post Office has to inspect and approve anything that it ships in country or internationally.  They provide the packaging as part of the cost of shipping.  About $50 worth of gifts and $30 worth of postage but it was ever thus.

One year I mailed $10 worth of Turkish tea (1 kg net) to a friend on Vancouver Island.  The packaging the tea was in put me 50 grams over the 1 kg limit and it cost me $25.  If I had known I would have grabbed 100 grams of tea for my own use.  Too soon oldt und too late schmardt.

We got our own care package from Canada last night.  Meest (bridge) Corporation Inc is an awesome package delivery service from USA and Canada to the FSU.  It was started as a way for people in NA to ship care packages to relatives in Ukraine and grew from there. (That link doesn't seem to want to work in English language but Meest America Inc is in English).

There is a lady in Regina who collects boxes for Ukraine.  I am sure there would be a contact person in every community of any size with a Ukrainian diaspora. The boxes are trucked to Montreal (I think) where they are loaded in a container and shipped to Ukraine.  It takes six to eight weeks. We have made use of this many times in the past 6 years. Cost is about $2.75 per kg plus insurance and delivery.  Max weight is 30 kg and runs about $125 delivered to our door in Mar'yaniv'ka.

Tanya has gone to Krivii Rih today with Andrei and Tania so I am making chili for myself for lunch.  It is not exactly Screaming Sphincter Chili but it is hotter than she likes it and tomato sauce disagrees with her.


7 comments:

  1. Haven't done holiday shopping for my wife yet. We don't celebrate Christmas but do celebrate the Solstice.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  2. Wow. Christmas packages dispatched on time. I'm so impressed. I should take a leaf out of your book. I haven't even thought about Christmas yet. And I have the added problem that family in USA have just about everything anyone could need, and as a result are impossible to buy gifts for!

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    1. I have suggestions in today's post.

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    2. Saw those. Many thanks. But I wonder where you could have met my family! Especially liked the idea of what to give Republicans. Your suggestion would be particularly apt for my brother, but then I might want to visit MA again one day. I think it was enough that his three sisters shared our mutual delight via Facebook about the US presidential results. And also his vote in MA would have done nothing to help Romney.

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  3. I was feeling a bit "blue" this evening, but for some reason your post cheered me up. I think that it is just that I like reading about life in Ukraine. I hope to return in September of 2013. I really hope we can hook up for a couple of hours.

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    1. Make it early in September then, as we may be in Turkey in mid-late. We'll work out a coffee somewhere.

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