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For all of you lovely people who want to send something sweet for me or something nice to share, here is what you need to know…..

Send care packages to the following:

Cindy Smiles
PO BOX 1189
Mbale Uganda

Are you a perfect stranger that stumbled across this page? Still want to send some care?

That’s okay, I’ll accept. No judgement 🙂 Kind gestures are welcomed!

Packages may take 2 months to be delivered from USA. Use plenty of tape to keep package secure and dry. Try to keep the package small and light, shipping will be VERY costly. If you can get into an envelope, you can save some mo-lah… just be sure to tape it up well to prevent tampering or water damage. Thank you for sending love!

“What should I send?” you may ask. Mostly, I love surprises more than anything. But if you need some hints or tips on what to send a PCV and their new friends, here you go…..

Something sweet for me:
• Things that Smell Pretty – perfumes, candles, lotions, hair stuff, etc. I’ll be like a sweet smelling daisy, only surrounded by goats.
• Dried Fruits & Nuts – Any healthy snacks, and, granola bars too! The deep fried street foods have lost their appeal, help!
• USB Flash with Music, Books, Videos or Pictures – Any new tunes? Or old school classics? Salsa or Latin Music? Books or Articles to read? Funny pictures or just some good old memories? “How to____” videos to pass some free time? Send them my way! The internet here is both lousy and costly. Downloading files takes a serious amount of patience, especially when the power shuts off at “99% Download Completed.” Do a gal a favor, snail mail it to me with a jump/thumb/flash drive.
• External Hard Drive – This one is for the overachievers…. just a wishful thinking! 😉
• Anything Art – Believe it or not, the visual arts in Mbale are hard to find. And my pale walls and concrete floors are drab. Surprise me with something interesting to look at.
• Rain Poncho – Rainy season is serious here. Travel ponchos would be amazing.
• Hand Sanitizer – No matter what, I could never turn away a kid when they want to shake my hand. Even if it looks like they just completed a Tough Mudder race after a serious bout of avian flu.
• Duct Tape & Crazy Glue – Best inventions (only second to the flush toilet).
• Salad Dressing Mix – Any of those dry packages of ranch or italian dressing would spice up my matooke.
• Spices & Seasonings – Every spice for Indian foods is here. Every other is not. Send the others, please!
• SunDried Tomatoes – Love them and miss them.
• Ghirardelli Chocolate Brownie Mix – Crave it, dream of it, drool over it…. Mmmmm, chocolate. (Sigh)
• Crayola Stuff – The colored pencils, crayons and markers here are bad, bad, bad. Missing my green and yellow box of magic.
• Randomness – Printed pictures of the crew, old magazines, arts and crafts stuff, fridge magnets, pictures of hot shirtless men, you know, the usual 😉

Something Nice to Share:
• State Maps & Post Cards – My new neighbors are very interested to learn more about the US. Help me share a piece of America with those freebie maps from your local state parks. Postcards are also a prized gift; add a nice message or quote for a special touch! (Note: People have recommended to only send postcards inside a sealed envelope, otherwise they may become “lost” in the mail).
• Seashells – Send some of those pretty shells from the seashore. I brought a collection of shells but regret not bringing more; they are very popular! A local even explained that they thought shells were man-made. We had an impromptu lesson on aquamarine life. Imagine that!
• Calendars – Please don’t ask why or how this makes sense, but, Ugandans seem to really appreciate calendars with photos. They are often kept long after the year has passed. Pass along all those free calendars that organizations send to you every year.
• Foreign Coins – Everyone loves to see money from different countries. Slip a penny or two into the care package. It is a great way for me to start my money management training sessions.
• Temporary Tattoos – Just pure fun for the kids. I’m not sure how they will react, but, Im sure it will be something worth writing about in my blog!
• Punching Balloons – Another big hit for the kiddos, and my secret stash is running low!
• Glow in the Dark Anything – I’ve brought some glow-in-the-dark stars and realized that this is an absolute phenomenon for village kids. Help me spark their curiosity for science!
• Meaningful Books – Any meaningful books for kids or youth that would inspire them to read more. Something with a good moral lesson or life skills (Sharing, perseverance, honesty, respect for nature and animals, hygiene, anti-pollution, educational, etc.) Disney books would be a smash hit!
• Crystals, Marbles, Magnets – All that earth science stuff that makes the young ones get curious about the planet.
• Nail Polish – Another big hit for the girls. And it is fun to have girls time!
• Kites – Who doesn’t want to fly a kite?
• Scarves – Something colorful and lovely to share with the elderly woman who sell their produce street-side.
• Crazy Science Experiments – Anything that makes kids ask questions and think “outside the box.”
• Cards & Travel Games – Anything that involves strategy or socializing would be splendid.
• Sidewalk Chalk – There are no sidewalks, but, I think the kids will find a space somewhere. Front steps, maybe?
• All that Fun Stuff – There are soooooooooo many fun things that we have available to us as kids growing up in America. Send any of those things that you may have taken for granted. Seriously, dollar stores would be a gold mine for the children of Uganda!
• Pictures of You! – Yep, the locals love getting printed photos. Even if it is a photo of a muzungu (white person) they have never met. Write a message on the back and I’ll pass it along.
• Letter for a Pen Pal – If anyone is interested in using my PO BOX for sending letters to a Ugandan pen-pal, please feel free. Let me know the details (male/female, town/village, kid/youth/adult/elder, etc.) and I’ll sort out the logistics on my end.
• Smiles – Be creative! I’ll share your gift with a local and make them smile.

Big love, hugs and thanks from me to you!

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