I just heard from my friend in Wales tonight, which was really lovely.
I'm a bit worried that my texts to people in Scotland didn't go through
as I've received so few back, but I suppose that it could be that
people don't really love me boo hoo hoo.
(I'm betting on Togocell being generally a rubbish mobile service
I've compiled a list of things that people could send me in care
packages that would be really lovely and really light and easy to send:
Instant drink packets
Kool-aid, Crystal Light, that sort of thing. In order to make the
water safe to drink, I have to boil it and then filter it or filter it
and then add bleach. Either way, the water ends up tasting pretty bland
and unappetising. I brought over a good amount of generic Target-brand
sugar-free drink mix stuff, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to make my
way through it really quickly. Also... I brought little tubs of the
stuff and have since realised that the majority of my water will be
drunk from plastic water bottles that have tiny little throats, so the
single-serving packets would be much better than the tubs.
A french press coffee-maker. Most of the coffee available here is the
granule Nescafe kind. Yuck. There is, however, a burgeoning coffee
industry and a PCV is working with one collective that is currently in
the process of trying to start exporting its freshly picked/roasted
coffee beans. This means that I will soon have access to lovely fresh
coffee, but no way to enjoy it. I would love if someone could send me a
wee cafetiere – it doesn't have to be full-size, just enough for a cup
or two. I suggest you put dibs on this item so that I don't end up
getting five of them.
I would love to get letters! I will try to send out another email with
my mailing address again. The mail is all process in Lome and then sent
out, so I am pretty sure that the mailing address I currently have is
the mailing address I will have for my whole time here in Togo.
Not currently a pressing need, but I have it on good authority that
it's nearly impossible to get good sensitive-skin face wash here, so if
someone wants to keep an eye out for something semi-nice and send it
over for my birthday or the holidays or whatever that would be lovely
(Lush, hint hint) Bars of body soap would be cool too, I'm getting
through it pretty quickly with the two showers a day.
small candle holders
Over the past week, there have been power cuts around 6pm nearly every
night. My family has an abundant supply of candle stubs. In order to
set up a candle, my host sister finds an old jar lid, drips a bit of
wax into it and then sticks the candle into the wax to hold it up. It
works pretty well, especially when the candle stub is particularly
stubby. However, I would love to give them a couple simple, nice candle
holders. Something small, preferably with a depth of no more than ¾
inch, maybe with a little point in the center of the candle stand to
help stick the candle upright.? Dunno, I'm keeping an eye out but if
anyone sees something in a charity shop for 50pence that looks perfect
– that would be awesome.
At the last minute, I didn't bring my oils. I regret that decision
now. It would be really nice to have some oils, especially some
lavender and some citrus. There are a couple nice blends like 'energy'
or 'clarity' that would be great to have. I could really use a couple
that make good perfumes too. I cannot get away from smelling like sweat
right now, but it would be nice to sweeten it up a little bit with some
rose oil or the like.
The card game. I cannot believe I left this at home. I have no idea
where it is, which means that I couldn't have packed it away because I
would have noticed it. Grrr. At least I have my fabulous 'historical
Scottish figures' deck of cards.
It seems pretty easy to get black tea here, but I would love to get
some packets of herbal, green, etc. Just a nice little extra, you know.
Another wee thing to make the water more palatable.
Yummy trail mix
One of the other volunteers had this brilliant mix that was nuts and
white chocolate and cranberries. Yum yum. So if any of you Americans
sees a yummy looking bag of trail mix that you think I might like, go
ahead and sent it on over :)
I am successfully surviving as a vegetarian here. Go me. This means
that I have to be particularly careful to get my protein. It hasn't
been too hard so far, but a volunteer who has nearly completed her two
years recommended that I get someone to send over protein powder
things. I'm not exactly sure what this is or how to use it, so if y'all
wanna send over some instructions with it, that would be cool.
CDs of music/dvds/pictures
I've got my laptop and a solar charger for it, I would love to get
updates on the latest music and movies, the fabulous and scandalous
parties (and weddings!!!!) that I'm missing, etc. I imagine that my web
access will be very limited, so please send me the photos, don't expect
that I'll be able to see them online.
I'm giving my host family children a set of crayons, but I didn't
bring a coloring book. (I would also like to have a coloring book for
myself because in a fit of selfishness I've decided that I'm keeping
the glitter crayons)
I ran out of the stuff I bought at the airport and I realised it's a
kind of fun treat that I enjoy, it's light and easily sendable. I tried
this wacky flavor at Philadelphia airport called 'Mint Mojito'. It was
actually pretty awesome. So feel free to send me the weird stuff :)
Apparently, we get Newsweek sent to us every week, which is pretty
exciting. I would love to occasionally get a silly or interesting
magazine or cut-out article (feel free to read the magazine first and
then send it on – I'm going to be so far behind anyway, what's another
I'll be using this for wiping the sweat off my face, so nothing too
fancy. If it's big enough, I could use it for holding back hair too
which would be great. Although, I think I'm going to be shaving my head
as soon as I can find some clippers and keeping it really really short
while I'm here.
Music: Blue Planet, Donna Lewis – Beauty & Wonder
Book: The Earth Path by Starhawk