This is the latest information we have about where we are going and how to send things there.
If you want to mail a package, it has to go through customs, which can be a total pain. If it needs to be inspected, we get charged a one-time fee, it doesn’t matter how big the package is or how much stuff is in it, the fee is the same. Things that need to be inspected include any food (not candy), magazines, clothing, packages over $100 and anything they think might contaminate the country. If you label the package as being a “personal item” it is more likely to not get inspect, or if it is inspected, to not get as high a fee. So, to help packages get through customs, one of the PC staff members makes regular trips down to deal with all the paperwork, which means it is best to mail packages through Port Vila. After they go through Vila, the same PC staff member will ship them on to our island. The address to do all of that is:
Jason Ritenour and Gaea Dill-D’Ascoli,
C/o Peace Corps
Private Mail Bag 9097
Port Vila, Vanuatu
If you as mailing only a letter, we have two more addresses. Letters don’t get tied up in customs. Unfortunately we are not leaving them here for security reasons. Most people have them by now anyway. If not, contact someone else who knows us and might or e-mail and we’ll reply when we can.
Tomorrow we leave for our island. This is where we start the real work we are here to do. I’m excited and nervous and everything is a jumble but it is a glorious jumble because I have work that I believe in and I’m following my dream.
We are planning on having no internet access until late January. The best bet at this point really is to send us letters. I’ll try to write back. If we do get internet, I will make sure to update here, but I can’t promise return emails. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write them, I’ll get them eventually and I will appreciate it when I do.
Until January, keep yourselves safe.