Monday, November 22, 2010

Newsy Bites

Monday is drawing to a close but I wanted to mention a few news items quickly tonight...sorry for the random list!

A warning to other expats who live in this country: the customs procedures of this country have been changed. We had a box sent to us from dear friends for Christmas (the sixth year in a row!!!) and it has been held up in customs. One new, more stringent requirement is for the customs slip to more accurately (not just generally) represent what is in the box. They are not supposed to open the box but if what the slip says is not plausible relating to the size of the box, the customs agents will be more suspicious of it. Also, any box over about 15 pounds or worth more than $150 is going to be held as suspicious. Our box was held up and now just today the Fed Ex representative called again and said that customs officials had rejected our box, meaning that they will just keep it. The other two options were that we could pay a 10% tax on the value of the box, which of course we were glad to do, or they would send it back to the States.

However, the good news is, we could write a letter of appeal, which John did, and he emphasized how the food items within were truly for our personal use, to help us celebrate Christmas. He told me he "laid it on pretty thick!" He even attached a picture of our family to try to get them to take pity on us and our three little girls who are waiting for "Christmas" to arrive in that box! So we shall see if they are moved by our appeal, pray that they will! I would hate for all of that time, effort, and money from our friends in the States to simply get wasted--or worse, to imagine some official eating our chocolate stars and chex cereal! Argh!

In other news, the turkey is here! I will go to pick it up tomorrow. I'm glad we'll be able to have turkey for Thanksgiving! Last year our bird came from a farm in Minnesota, mmm it tasted good! Probably nostalgia and a bit of homesickness made it taste that much better.

Tomorrow morning we're going on a field trip! There is a new history museum open in our city and we are going to check it out. I have very low will probably be freezing cold, with no signs in English, and I'm expecting dust and dimly lit, cavernous rooms. (This is from previous experience with museums in this country.) However, there are dinosaur bones, we know that, and it's free to get in if you bring your passport or birth certificate, so we really don't have anything to lose, and who knows, it might be great! I'll let you know!

To close out the evening, I'd like to ask your prayers for my friend Angie. I don't often do that here, but today I'd like to make an exception. I took Angie to Starbucks this morning and we talked non-stop for two and a half hours, without our children, which was the first time we've done that in a long, long time. Angie is facing some messy and complicated family situations and problems that are just plain difficult. Will you lift her up for a moment when you read this? Pray for grace to persevere and to love her husband with His love, to be the wife and mom that He wants her to be, and to receive His joy through trusting Him. Thank you so much!

Last time I asked you how your week was going and several of you commented, thank you! Tonight I'd like to ask how I may pray for you this week. If you feel comfortable, leave your request in a comment, or email me at jawind1228(at)yahoo(dot)com. I would consider it an honor to lift up your requests this week as well.

Blessing to you all as we get ready for Thanksgiving! May gratitude to our Father always be permeating our hearts!

1 comment:

sandra said...

Oh my goodness. I'm hoping your letter will do the trick. Thanks for the tips.

I wonder if this is somehow related to the amount of western food items available on taobao? Meaning, goods are being imported as gifts in order to alleviate any tax?