June 21, 2010

Making a List

Ok.  So, I must say, I feel weird even posting this, because you have all already provided so much support and encouragement—how could I possibly ask for any more?  BUT, I have received a number of requests, for a wish list, so I’ll oblige…but please, please, please don’t feel in any way obligated; your love and friendship means more to me than anything else.  But, here goes.  I’ll just keep this list updated as much as possible, and hyperlink it to the box on the right with my mailing address, so it’ll be easy to reference :o). 

My wish list:

Seriously, words are the best—letters, postcards, whatever!  Shipping to Bots is crazy expensive; a letter is a huge deal to me!  Don’t underestimate how awesome they are!


This is stuff that I pretty much always want/can’t have enough of/won’t get tired of…in no particular order:

Oreon/Newman-O’s…umm, they do have Oreos here, but they’re not vegan-how lame is that?!
Stonewall’s Vegan Jerkee…I like all the flavors…mmmmm!!!
Vegan dark chocolate/chocolate chips/cocoa powder (this should need no explanation!)
Gator Aid Powder (I’m trying to run here and dehydration is a legit issue—really, really need this, it goes fast!)
Falafel mix
Hummus mix
Tabouleh mix
(a small theme here…?)
Vegan sloppy joe mix (with all of the mixes, if you take them out of the boxes [but maybe include the instructions?] and put them in a ziplock bag, they might be easier to squish into a large envelope!)
Dairy free Mac & Trees (yes, I know it’s nasty for non-vegans…but I love it!!  I can get pasta here, so I mostly just want the sauce packet—there are some places where you can buy just the sauce packet, but if not, you could take it out, keep the pasta for yourself, and put the packet in a ziplock bag and stick it in an envelope!)
Nutritional yeast: a vegan’s best friend!
Braggs Liquid Amino Acids: goes so well with nutritional yeast!
Flax seeds: Omega-3’s, anyone?  Hard to get here; important for psychological stability!!!
Vegan mayonnaise-shelf-stable: there are a couple of brands: Nayonaise and Spectrum, and maybe some others
Tofu (shelf-stable, like Mori-Nu or something along those lines—allegedly there are a few places here where you can get it, but I have yet to find any, and I’m totally going through withdrawal!)
COFFEE!!!!!!!! (OMG, I NEED COFFFE!!  Pretty much all they have here that’s not prohibitively expensive is the instant kind with chickory…NOT OK!!!  I have a French press, so any REAL, good coffee, ground for a French press would be life-changing!)
Dried shitake mushrooms
Asian noodles (vegan chow mein noodles, rice noodles, bean thread, etc.)
Nori (mmm....vegan sushi!!!)
Quinoa mmm....protein...
Vanill extract...you can only get vanilla "essence" here...not cool!
Vegan marshmallows (this one is just a pipe dream—you can only get them at vegan specialty stores or online, and even in the States I can’t afford these more than once or twice a year…)


In other words, if you happen to get me any of this stuff, please e-mail me so that I can take it off the list because I don’t need that much of it! :o)

Outdoor thermometer.  Weird, yes, but the temperature extremes are crazy…total non-necessity, but I’d love to know whether I’m just being whiny, or my house is legitimately unsafely hot to be in…
Scented candles. Yes, this probably sounds like the weirdest request EVER, but as my last post indicates, my power goes out regularly, and I spend a significant portion of the time in my house eating by candlelight…may as well get some aromatherapy out of it, right? 
Molasses/real maple syrup-haven’t found any of this stuff or real brown sugar here, therefore much of baking kind of sucks.
Wheat germ-I need nutrients!!!
Hanson shirt…weird, I know(hahaha), but maybe Fansons will understand…I brought one, but it got destroyed—so sad!!  So if you’ve got an old one you don’t like…it would make me really happy!!
Other cute t-shirts and tank tops: I’m either a women’s/juniors small or medium (trying to stay within the confines of the small size, though), and clothes do NOT hold up well here w/ all the sand and hand-washing/hang drying.  I can buy clothes here, but our allowance is rather meager, so t-shirts and tank tops are always appreciated!!!!

If you’d like to fill up a flash drive, I’d be happy to fill it with stuff here and mail it back (we have a floating terabyte hard drive with lots of stuff on it), or if you could send a CD with any of the stuff below, I’d pretty much love you forever.  (As with the list above, if you send anything on the list below, please let me know so I remove it from the list…but please feel free to send anything that you think I’d like!)

HOWIE DAY!!  Any live stuff would be AMAZING—I’ve only got a few shows on here!
DMB.  Don’t judge.  But if you have some, I’d love it.
John Mayer: Anything...
Matt Nathanson: I have the Pretty the World EP and Waiting for Spring but would like any of the other albums!
Goo Goo Dolls!  I only have DUTG on my iTunes (again, how I managed to not upload my other albums eludes me!!); my favorite is Superstar Car Wash, if anyone happens to have it!

Any other stuff you think I’d like.  All the music here is just house music…I need more music in my life!!


SEX AND THE CITY!!!!!!!  I got Season 1!!!!  YAY LAURA YOU ARE MY HERO!!!!!  But if you happen to have any other seasons that are looking for a good home, I’m your gal!!
Dexter:  Season 4, and 5 once it starts!!!
The Office – for realz; how did I get all the way out here without this?!
The Big Bang Theory
Gilmore Girls:
Seasons 1 and 4—I’ve got the rest
BOY MEETS WORLD if someone could make this happen--SBTB or BMW...yeah, I think I might just idolize you forever...
Saved By the Bell – you heard me.  I think we need to make this happen to make my Peace Corps experience complete.
My So-Called Life –
I keep thinking “Ahh, I’ve seen this show too many times to still need it in my life.”  And I keep being wrong.
Boy Meets World –
Umm, Topanga would be so disappointed not to be included in my Peace Corps experience.
Freaks and Geeks / Undeclared - I <3 Judd Apatow

Any other shows or movies you think might be of interest.  I might even be willing to consider getting addicted to Lost…maybe… There’s not much to do after dark—and it’s dark here a lot!

I’m planning on setting up an Amazon Wish List…but in the mean time, if you have any books or magazines (I love Scientific American and news-related stuff!) that you’ve read and think are awesome, feel free to send them my way!  Let me know if you want them back, and I’ll make sure they get back to you!!! (although, depending on my ability to ship stuff, it may be at the end of my service…)


Ok, so it’s a little weird shipping me stuff…here are a few tips:


Ziplock bags. It’s best if you put pretty much everything in an individual ziplock bag...basically, pack like it’s going to go though 1,000 degree heat, dropped, squished, be drenched in water, attacked by ants, and opened and re-opened a zillion times.  Hopefully none of those things will happen, but, as with Peace Corps, when it comes to international shipping, it’s best not to have any expectations.

Expensive stuff.  If you are sending something like a flashdrive, it’s best to put it in a sock or something so it won’t be stolen.  So far, it doesn’t look like any of the packages I’ve received have been opened, but it’s just better to err on the safe side.  Of course, if you do send me something like that that you want returned and it gets stolen, I’ll obviously either reimburse you, or have a new one shipped to you on Amazon or something!! 

Addressing / Labeling:

My mailing address is:

Chelsea Chilcoat
Peace Corps Volunteer
Botshelo Trust
P.O. Box 313

If you send a package, you have to stand in line and fill out a bunch of stupid paperwork (did I mention how much I love you guys?!).  One of the lines asks you to estimate the value of your package—it is generally best NOT to write more than $15; if it is not thought to be expensive, it’s less likely to go “missing.”  Likewise, when listing the contents, I have heard that writing things like “religious materials,” or “educational materials” helps deter curious handlers.  You could also try writing “Botshelo Trust Orphanage” if you’re concerned about theft—that might also play up the guilty conscience factor (and I do, in fact, volunteer with orphans, so it’s not a lie—it’s just not part of the NGO’s name).

If you can, it’s best to try to get to the Post Office at a not-so-busy time, so you can talk with the Post Office staff about what the different shipping/pricing options are—I think they can vary significantly, even between mailing something in a cushioned envelope versus a box.  You might also look at the Flat Rate International Shipping boxes—those seem to be pretty reasonable as well.


Winter is usually from about June-August…summer is December-February.  Most of the time it’s pretty hot, but summer is REALLY hot (think highs of 115-120), and winter is a little more moderate (most days getting into the 30’s or 40’s at night, and 80’s during the day).  I’ve decided that it’s ALWAYS ok to send me chocolate (just remember the ziplock bag thing!), but obviously, melty stuff is best to send at a time when it’ll arrive during the “cold” season.  Shipping can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months…so…yeah.



  1. Im going to try and get some CDs together for you!

  2. THAT WOULD BE EPIC!!!!! Also, make sure to include your return address, so I can send you a little something too!!! Not much, seeing as I make about $250/month, but...you know!


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