08 February 2014

want to send some love to tanzania?

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a quick post on sending us mail and packages. We have received a few requests from amazing family and friends who have already inquired as to how to throw some goodies our way and we would love to accommodate these requests!

yay! happy mail!

We will be living at language school until mid-April, but that shouldn't stop you from sending things to our permanent address:

Ashley and/or Michael Leen
P.O. Box 5021
East Africa

Of course, sending anything to a developing country comes with a few tricks of the trade.
  1. You will likely have to list the contents of your package at the post office. Don't lie, but don't be too detailed either. We've heard the Tanzanian Post Office employees get rather annoyed when they find things in the packages that weren't declared on the list.
  2. Due to Tanzanian Post Office regulations, any package coming from outside of the country can be charged a pick-up fee of up to 40% of the value of the package. Yikes! The value of the package is declared by you, the sender, so while we don't encourage lying, we do encourage paying as little as possible to pick up our packages. Most folks end up putting a value of $5 on their package and calling it a day. 
  3. That being said, it's best not to send us anything of considerable value. Although our colleagues here in Tanzania have had relatively good luck, it's not uncommon for packages to be rummaged through and nice things taken. 
  4. Lastly, mail takes a loooong time to get to Tanzania, so don't get too worried if you haven't heard word from us. A quick delivery time would be about ten days.
it truly is snail mail, when living in tanzania.

What should you send, you ask? At the moment, we can think of these precious items:
  • Chocolate chips and/or any kind of candy. (Chocolate chips are non-existent and the candy that we can find is incredibly expensive.)
  • Magazines. (While we are grateful for our trusty Kindles, we wouldn't mind a magazine here or there. We are big readers so anything from The Economist to Elle Decor will do!)
  • Small items for the countless children we will meet, like crayons, stickers, etc.
  • Photos of you (with or without us!) to decorate our new home. 
  • Anything else you can think of that is light (a.k.a. cheap to send) and not too fragile!
Of course, if you can't send a package, we are happy to receive postcards, letters, or a good old-fashioned telegraph! Asante sana (thank you very much) in advance!


  1. Hi Ashley and Michael, I just discovered your blog through expat-blogs.com and am enjoying reading it. Karibuni Tanzania! With your mention of chocolate chips, I thought you might like a recent post on my blog: http://thejoyoflifeislove.com/2014/03/01/a-world-without-chocolate-chips/

    Best wishes and blessings on your new Tanzania adventure!

    1. Hi Brenda! Great to hear from you! I am already feeling your pain on the chocolate chips. We should have brought over a heavy stock. Thanks for passing on your blog! We are always happy to hear others' stories and experiences of Tanzania.


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