Much excitement this week as we received not only letters, but a parcel!
This is what the post office looks like at our end. The fastest way to send a letter home via Ghana post is to use the post office at the airport in Accra.
Rather than just dropping the letter into a box, and letting the post office do the sorting, the letters are presorted into domestic and international. No surprisingly, Australia doesn’t warrant a box of its own, so we found the ‘Other Countries’ box, and away they went. It seems as though they took about 10 days – 2 weeks to arrive. Not bad.
At this end, the letters arrive here in a red post box at Konongo town. They are picked up by the mine, and given to us! Again, the letters took about 10 days to arrive.
The parcel of goodies sent by the children’s fabulous Grandmother, was another matter altogether to pick up. When the letters arrived, we received a parcel notice, with the names and address of the recipients, in this case, Cecily, Lillian and Jock, in Konongo. A few days passed before we managed to get to the post office in Konongo, and the children we really hanging out for the parcel. Bill and I had just returned from a very long day in Kumasi when we stopped at the post in Konongo, only to be told that the parcel was with customs in Kumasi.
I clearly have not been in Ghana long enough, as I am [was] still reverting to my old habits of making a long list of chores to do when we head into town. The children and I were hot and exhausted after a day in Kumasi, when we stopped at the post office. The postal workers were at lunch, so please come back at 1.30pm. I noticed at the time a large number of people waiting but [foolishly] thought nothing of it. We headed back outside, to try and find some lunchboxes [school starts tomorrow!!]. Back in at 1.35pm. I aimlessly stand in the room, not knowing which queue to stand in. I’m told to stand by a Ghana Post worker. 10 minutes later, she receives my notice, I show some ID and pay 7GHC handling fee. I’m told to go and sit, 10 minutes later the parcel arrives on the desk. We sit, with baited breaths, staring at it. Another 10 minutes we are called forward. I open the parcel, and the postal worker goes through the package with us. I describe the beautiful craft books inside as colouring books, and show her what Blu tac is. We are firmly told not to touch the contents of the parcel. She fills out an exercise book with the details of the parcel, and I am told to line up at Customs. Three people at the Customs desk. One is reading the paper, one is watching TV, and I wait my turn and am served by the last one. He inspects the colouring books, and deems them to be worth $2.50. I am then sent back to the Ghana post officer, where I wait in line again, and she works out a series of 5 taxes we are liable for. I am then sent back to the Customs officer, to wait in line, then he checks her maths, gives it at signature and a big red tick, and I am send back to the Ghana post officer. While I am waiting for her I note the tax is 52 peswes (about 35c). I look in my wallet and see I have 51 peswes is coin. When it is my turn, I tell her this, and she says no, its government money and I need to pay the correct amount. I hand over 1GHC (cedi), and there is a pause, and a muttering about getting change. After 1 hour in the post office, with the children behaving so so well, I say keep the change. I hope it goes towards buying x-ray machines for the post office!
Triumphant we return to the car, the children happily occupied for the hour trip home.