Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shipping update

As you may recall we are waiting (anxiously) for our shipments from Congo. They were sent by US priority mail a month and a half ago and are somewhere in transit, caught up in the new "homeland security" regulations fiasco.

Today I received a message that went something like this. "Your shipment arrived in Germany ( a halfway transit point). Then it went back to Africa."

Of course the message was in Swahili so we may be missing some of the nuances here.

But somehow I get the general sense that we are not moving in the right direction here. Grrrrr...

And the great irony here, is that I think it really isn't Congo's fault. Or even Africa's fault. Of all the countless things that could go wrong when shipping from Congo, as far as I can tell, none of those has happened. It seems the packages arrived perfectly fine in Europe, as they were supposed to. No one ate them along the way, no wars broke out and stranded them. No, the end we are foiled not by the whims of Africa but by the United States. The only problem is that the US has decided to make it ridiculously hard to ship packages by plane. For fear of one blowing up. So Germany didn't want to take our packages, not because of where they come from, but because of where they are going. It is just to dang hard to ship to the US right now.

Now I am all for security. And I am always scared on airplanes, so I support anything that makes them safer. But it does appear that we have a tendency to base our whole regulatory procedures upon whatever the latest bomb scare was. And unfortunately for us the latest scare was a cargo package.

So now our packages sit in Ethiopia awaiting some solution. We really do need these packages to arrive. And we also need a shipping system that we can continue to rely on. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.


tongchen@seattle said...

Greetings from USA! Are u really from Congo? anyway, I love your blog.
Please visit me at:

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