May 1st, 2010 is a day our family will remember for a long time. It is the day our personal belongings were released from customs. They have been in customs for 2 months. We packed this shipment over 1 year ago and have been living out of 3 suitcases each. It is good to finally have some of the personal things that will make our house a home. Items such as wall pictures, sheets, kitchen items, Noel’s tools, and nick nacks that have memories attached. Little things like this keep the home sickness away.
CONGRATULATIONS Susanna Medley for submitting the closest guess as to when we would get our things. She guessed May 5th. She will receive a hand embrodiered chador (headscarf) in the mail. Thank you to everyone else who participated in our little contest and to those who have prayed for this issue.
Why did it take so long? Previously, our organization would just pay the customs fees. They would negotiate the price down some, but they always paid. However, lately the customs fees have been very high. After some research into the customs law, we discovered that we should not have to pay tax on personal items and tools because we work for a humanitarian development organization. With hardwork from our Afghan staff members, a little patience from us (patience is a forever struggle for me), time, and 40 signatures later we now have an official customs exemption put in place for our organization. The short term sacrifice was worth this benefit.
Now I will sign off so that I can go and open up all of these containers. Christmas in May! Cool. – Noel