24 March, 2009

Neither Rain nor Sleet... yadda, yadda, yadda

William Kendall borrowed from Herodotus to come up with the motto for the US Post Office. Here's Herodotus' bit:
"It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day's journey. These are stopped neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed."
- Herodotus, 500 BCE
And then, William Kendall's Take:
"Neither rain nor hail nor sleet nor snow nor heat of day nor dark of night shall keep this carrier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds."
- William Kendall, 1876
I don't know about the late 1800's or the mid 500's, but our mail is better traveled than we are. We used to worry about the mail service in a third world country being somewhat unreliable. Boy, were we wrong! It's not the third world mail services, in this case, the Belize Mail Service, it's the good old US Postal Service.

The mail that has gone awry has been plainly addressed to us:
David (and/or Dianna) Rider
P.O. Box 254
1008 Ferry Road
Corozal, Belize Central America
It don't git no plainer than that. Of course, we don't have a zip or other postal code. That could be what's screwing up the postal authorities up north (maybe it's the cold weather).

So far, we've had mail go to Brazil. That's in South America (in case any of you work for the USPS. But it's the east coast of the continent. They probably didn't have to fly near Belize to get it there. Now, we're willing to give a little slack on this one - Brazil... Belize... the names are close, so maybe the envelope got tossed into the Brazil bin by mistake when they were shooting for the Belize bin.

Next, we had mail go to Angola. That's a stretch. Across the Atlantic and in sub-Saharan Africa. Whew!

And now, the latest. This morning we got our savings and checking statements from our bank (two separate envelopes), sent back to us from Ecuador! Come on. That's on the west coast in South America. They had to fly or drive right past us to deliver it there. Ben Franklin is probably turning over in his grave.

The Belize Post Office didn't send these pieces to these far-off lands, the US Postal Service did. At least, to the credit of the Brazilian, Angolan, and Ecuadorian postal authorities, they could at least read the address and get it sent to the correct location. And the Belize Postal Office actually got it to our post box.

And they call this the third world!

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