…for such a time as this

Stories about the adventure that is Peace Corps Tonga

The Post Office

The Post Office

Mail is my favorite thing to get in Tonga. It’s so much fun to get pictures, notes and packages from the States. I know how much work it is on the stateside to write letters, put packages together and go to the post office. I want to share what going to the post office is like for us here in Pangai.

Any mail that is sent to me in Tonga first goes to Nuku’alofa where it is sorted and then put on a plane to come to Ha’apai. The post office in Ha’apai is open from 9am to 3ish with a 1.5 hour lunch in there somewhere Monday-Friday. Before I came, I was told that I needed to be very nice to the mail lady (yes, there is one lady who handles the mail) because she can make life easy or hard. I have heard stories of people having to pay lots of customs fees arbitrarily depending on if the mail worker likes you or not.

So, for the past few weeks, us Pangai volunteers have been talking about our Christmas packages, we were all expecting something. Come to find out, the post office is closed the week between Christmas and New Years, add a few days on there for weekends and you get 12 days of no post office. Then, on Monday of this week, we all go to check and it’s closed for an audit. I can only imagine what would happen in the states if the post office was closed for 13 days over the holiday season! So finally Wednesday rolls around (I was sick all day Tuesday) and I go to buy some stamps and find out when the plane is coming. I talk to her for a few minutes and explain how excited we all are to get our packages because of the Christmas holiday. She doesn’t really care about what I am saying but smiles all the same. I ask her when the plane is coming and she says today. I told her I’d be back tomorrow.

Then a glorious text message comes from another volunteer saying all of our packages have arrived and to come and get them. John and I were in the Peace Corps office so we biked over to get our things. I was overjoyed! 5 packages and 3 letters! It really was Christmas for me! I savored every bow, wrapping and bubble wrap! And, I loved all the pictures sent! So thank you to you all for thinking of me this Christmas season!

I know there are a few more packages stuck in Nukualofa for me. One of the volunteers is going there next week for a meeting, so hopefully he can return with them.

So, thank you for spending the time to send letters and small gifts. They mean so so much! (Even with the snarly clerk 🙂

Juleigh Burke, PCV
General Post Office
Pangai, Ha’apai
The Kingdom of Tonga
South Pacific


1 Comment»

  Cathy Torrance wrote @

Loved the pics of Cyclone Rene, reminds me of Hurricane Ike. Days without water and power? been there! A letter is on the way. Love Ya! Aunt Cathy

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