Contact/Parcels

By Mail:

You can write me at:

Jonathan McLean/PCV
NYSTC Mombasa
PO Box 96078-80110
Likoni
Kenya

Mail arriving to Kenya usually takes about 10 to 21 days from the States, so plan accordingly.

By Phone:

I have a cell phone.  Feel free to call anytime, as incoming calls for me are free, even internationally.  Kenya is +8 hours from East Coast USA.  Plan accordingly when calling.  My number is:

+254 715 747 263

As for phone cards, the best seem to be from Nova, and get you about 2 hours for $20.  Make sure you get the card that is for African Cell Phones

By Email:

Preferred Email: jmmcl2[at]gmail[dot]com (sorry for the weird formatting, don’t want to get spammed)

I am able to check my email from my phone and do so quite regularly, so feel free to contact me this way as well.  I am unable to open attachments however.  Also, replying via phone is slow to type, so don’t expect long responses.

I will be using PGP encryption to digitally sign my emails.  Using the appropriate, free software, anyone can decrypt my signature to ensure that my email has arrived unmodified by a malicious third party.  My personal public key is below:

Download my GPG Public Key

Shipping:

If you are serious about shipping me a parcel but do not know what to send, head on over to Sending a parcel? for some general ideas.

It is not recommended to be shipping anything expensive or high-tech via regular post, as it will most likely be snatched.  Mark any packages as “Religious Materials,” and maybe throw a Bible verse or two on the outside, as this seems to ward off unwanted thieves.

So you have decided that you want to send me a parcel?! FANTASTIC! Just as letters are crack to PCV’s, parcels are like Ambrosia! And yes, it is true that being near Mombasa now, I do have access to a few more Western amenities, so I won’t be asking for you to send cheeseburgers, or pizza, or ice cream (all of which I was dying for in Loitokitok), but there are a few items which if I were to receive it would be great.

What to send:

  • Magazines are always great reads.  My favorites are:
    • Linux Journal
    • Time
    • National Geographic
    • Any others that share topic matters with those three
  • Powdered Drink Mixes (Gatorade, Lemonade, etc).  I drink a lot of water and these are good for adding a bit of flavor
  • Batteries are always a lifesaver, especially AA and AAA.
  • Any type of candy or gum.  Wintergreen Orbit gum is particularly delicious.
  • Books.  Science Fiction and Fantasy or History or Military.  New or old.  Doesn’t matter.  Though reading is becoming more popular, there are still very few book stores in the country (not even in Nairobi) and first they cater to the religious crowd, then the Swahili Crowd, and then the Western paperbacks.
  • If anyone feels like burning mp3’s of all the new bands onto discs and sending them, that would be great too!  Just mark the discs “Religious Music,” and no, I am not kidding.
  • Duct Tape. The stuff available here is of shoddy quality, but it’s so useful for everything that I am throwing it on this list. You can never have too much duct tape.
  • Photo CDs.  Send me pictures of what’s going on with you!  It’s great to see you all and it’s one of my stress relievers to look at pictures from home!  Maybe mark these “religious music,” as well.
  • Electronic Encyclopedias!  If you have any old Encarta or World Book or Britanica CD’s lying around, feel free to ship ’em here, as there is always a computer needing a good encyclopedia.
  • T-shirts! I am a large. Don’t have to be funny or anything in particular, I just realized I didn’t bring enough and you sweat so much in Mombasa you go through a lot of t-shirts.

What not to send:

  • Chocolate.  It does not survive the Mombasa heat.  And if I really am craving it, I can get it at Nakumatt.
  • Electronic Devices.  Unless specifically requested.  They just will not make it through the Kenyan Postal system.
  • Money.  Nor form of Cash, Cheque, Bank Card or Gift Card.  It will get stolen.
  • Live animals.  These too will not survive the Kenyan Postal System.
  • Anything made of glass or ceramic.  I don’t care how well it’s packed, it’s not going to make it in one piece.

That’s it for.  This list may update over time with more specifics, but don’t feel obligated to send me packages in any way.  I lucked out and am near the largest port in East Africa, which though it may not seem like much, it does mean that if I want to, I can get chocolate.

Cards

If you do not want to send me a parcel, but do want to send something, I like cards!  I hang them on my wall to add color to my living room.  The slew of Christmas Cards I received was great!  And Kenyans love looking at the cool pictures and glitter and felt and whatnot.  So cards are great and you will be immortalized on a wall in Kenya.  Though if you send Post Cards, many times they end up on the wall of the Post Office instead, and never make it to me.  Karibu Kenya!

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