St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Post Office on Strike.

In preparation for our next mission to Sierra Leone we have begun shipping much needed supplies that are too heavy to pack. UPS goes into Sierra Leone, but only as far as the Lungi Airport which then requires either a helicopter flight, ferry or hovercraft to get to where you must pick up your package. Therefore, it is difficult and cost prohibitive to use UPS. DHL is in Sierra Leone and delivers at doorstep...HOWEVER, they charge for the service...and they charge BIG TIME. Years ago, before we understood how to work the high costs of providing things to those in need. We sent a few cans of tuna, a pair of jeans and a jar of peanut butter to our staff in Sierra Leone via DHL. Our staff was hungry and there was no available protein (the war was not officially ended). We opened a credit account with DHL, shipped this tiny little box & next thing we knew we were receiving a bill of over $400 for the shipping and duty. It didn't matter that it was a humanitarian aid gift. After much arguing on the phone, DHL did drop the charges but we never used them again.

Instead, we use the USPS flat rate Priority boxes. We can cram up to 20 pounds into a box and it is never cost over $50. And we mostly use the $39 boxes which also allow 20 pounds.

Recently, the Sierra Leone Post Office has been on strike due to non-payment of their wages. These workers go to work day after day and receive no pay! The only money they receive is the few tips they get from those collecting their mail.

Today, James went to collect a few boxes that have been sitting at the Salone Post during the strike. They contain medical needs for the sick. Hopefully, paid postal workers will be common practice, eventually, in Sierra Leone. I know they work hard to get the post to the people and the workers need to be paid. Nazareth House certainly appreciates that they diligently see that our supplies are received. Thank you Freetown Postal Workers!