Shipping packages internationally...More favorite photos...


We often see mongooses in the garden resting their chins on branches, rocks or each other.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Each day, a mating pair of hornbills stop by and ask for birdseed which we place on the table along with the container.  If we don't quickly respond to their noisy request, they bang on the window glass until we do.
As many of our regulars readers are well aware, every four to six months we have a shipment of accumulated supplies we've ordered and had sent to our mailing service in our home state of Nevada, MailLinkPlus which may be reached at this link.

Each year we renew our oversized mailbox in October at a cost of ZAR 2251, US $156 per year.  In addition, we pay fees for scanned mail (per our request) to be placed into our online file for review, at a cost of ZAR 28, US $2 per page.  
A young bull, most likely ostracized from the herd as he matured, wanders down the hill in Kruger to the Crocodile River.
In most cases, when a piece of snail mail has been scanned and we either print it (unlikely) or simply read it, we can check in their system that the item is to be shredded to keep from accumulating clutter in the box.  

Possibly, a mom and her two offspring, most likely born five years apart or more which is typical for elephants.
Subsequently, the only mail in our mailbox at any given time, are items we want to save for when we return to Nevada and will collect at that time, or if necessary (such as tax documents) have forwarded to us in the next shipment.

Rarely, regardless of where we're living at any given time, it makes no sense to send items to us via the "regular" postal service.  Most recently, a box we'd been awaiting for months, became lost in a pile of 7.5 million undelivered items in South Africa when there was a strike.  

A young monitor lizard climbing a tree in our garden.
Our package was inside a shipping container in Pretoria.  We'd later heard stories of packages never being delivered or taking as long as three years to be delivered.  We should have known better than to ship a much-needed package via US Postal Service to South Africa, especially when we were unable to purchase insurance on the package.

Apparently, the US Postal Service is aware that South Africa's mailing service is horrible and refuses to allow packages to be insured.  The end result for that particular package?  Money...we paid ZAR 2000, US $139, to have the package found and delivered to us in Marloth Park by a postal service employee.  Money speaks loud and clear.

A mom and her calf cooling off in the river.
But, now as we've accumulated a number of items in our mailbox in Nevada, we decided to have the package shipped to us in Ireland, not here in South Africa.  The owner of the holiday rental provided us with the address and advised us to use DHL.

This morning, I went through all the items in our large mailbox in Nevada and item by item either marked; 1. Keep in the mailbox (for future reference or handling); 2. Send with the next shipment or, 3. Throw away.

The sugar cane burning season has started once again during which we get soot on the veranda and even into the house when the wind is blowing.
Each item is listed by the return address on the letter or package.  With this, we are able to recognize 90% of the mail to determine if we want it sent to us, tossed or saved.

The most important items in today's shipment are our two debit cards.  We're hoping the package will arrive before we get to Ireland since both of our debit cards, which we use to get cash at ATMs will be in that box.  We'll be arriving in Ireland with literally not a single euro on hand or means of getting cash to use while there. 

(Of course, we could go to any bank and have funds transferred from our bank accounts or any of our credit cards.  Originally, we set up our credit cards without PINS to reduce the risk of theft and to keep our costs down when credit card companies charge exorbitant fees for taking cash on a card.  Its worked for us so far during the first almost seven years of world travel.

Tom often sees figures of one type or another in cloud formations.  In this case, he would have seen this as an angel.
But, recently, based on the unplanned scenario of me having open heart surgery, we had to cancel our plans to return to the US in April, during which time, we'd have collected the new debit cards which expired on the last day of March.

We had plenty of SA rands (ZAR) on hand to get us through our remaining time here but not any euros to see us through any time in Ireland.  Getting these debit cards sorted out has been a mess when Wells Fargo canceled them when we hadn't activated them in a timely fashion. 
Big Daddy and zebras sharing pellets in harmony.
When we noticed the newest cards had arrived at the mailbox a few weeks ago, we instructed Wells Fargo to give us over a month to receive and activate the new cards.  

If we don't have the package during our first week in Ireland, we'll call Wells Fargo again to extend the time we'll have to activate the cards.  (We didn't want activated debit cards to go through customs in the US or Ireland to avoid further complications if stolen).

Dad (far left), mom and ostrich chicks.
Twice, we reordered new debit cards to be delivered here in Marloth Park and in both cases, they were lost in the mail, in this case, Fed Ex International.  After this, we swore we'll never send a shipment of any kind to or from South Africa.

Today, I've gone through every item in our physical mailbox in Nevada, deciding which items we want to be included in the shipment.  For example, Tom ordered a new RFID wallet when the almost seven-year-old similar item has fallen apart.  I no longer use a wallet keeping credit cards in my name in Tom's wallet.

Mr. Nyala, sniffing Ms. Kudu.  Wouldn't he love an opportunity to mate?
After all, we're always together and without me having a wallet or similar such items, there's less to be lost in the event of a theft.  It is for this very reason, I don't own or use a handbag and haven't done so since we landed in Kenya in September 2013.

Also, in this shipment is two pairs of jeans for me, a few sweaters and long sleeve tee shirts for use while in cool Ireland and also in Minnesota, US when we finally return in six months in November, 2019 when it will be very cold.
This lonely nyala, the only of this species in all of Marloth Park would surely like to have a family of his own.
I haven't received from MaillinkPlus as to the cost of shipping this package to Ireland since we'll need it quickly due to the time difference.  As typical, I'm expecting it to be approximately ZAR 5771, US $400 and even sent by the fastest means, most likely won't arrive any sooner than 10 days from today.

Living our lives as world travelers we are continually faced with challenges such as this which we consider minor, compared to the recent necessity of major heart surgery including surgeries for complications.
No one said life would be easy but regardless of where you live or your chosen lifestyle...stuff happens.  It's how we handle it, that determines our ability and enthusiasm in carrying on.  For us, we're excited to carry on...
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Photo from one year ago today, May 2, 2018:
A morning's photo of Scar Face clearly illustrated his improvement.  We were excited to see his continuing recovery from this awful injury. Wish we could see him one more time before we leave in nine days.  For more photos, please click here.

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