Likewise you have no idea
The post below is a copy of the most recent email we sent out to the email list:That may seem like a strange subject line. It was the stand-alone message on a postcard that someone sent through the project. I don't know the who or the why, but the message struck me and I took a picture of it.
Over the past month or so, I have been really discouraged with the project. We have a lot of cards in the wilderness. It's clear that the ECOWAS sanctions and the suspension of Air France flights led to a...
Your Postcard's Travels
This was a popular email that we sent out to the mailing list, so I have decided to share it here. It provides a frame of reference on the journey that every postcard from Timbuktu takes before it arrives in your mailbox.
1. Your postcard begins its journey in Timbuktu. If all goes well, the post office has enough stamps on hand and the postcard will be transported on a United Nations flight down to Bamako. The post office itself advised us that if we did not transport the cards ourselves, they would take several weeks to arrive in Bamako...
The COVID19 Outbreak in Timbuktu
While much of the Malian government's coronavirus response was focused on the capital, Bamako, Timbuktu quietly became the city with the worst outbreak in the country.
There was no testing equipment in Timbuktu itself. Test samples had to be sent to Bamako, a process that took at least a week and often longer. Meanwhile sick patients were arriving in the local clinics and family members were allowed to visit them -- no one was isolated and in town, no one was taking any measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. It may seem easy to blame the population, but...
News from us and us in the news
It's been a busy few weeks at Postcards from Timbuktu. Postcrossing graciously wrote a blog post about our project, and the many postcard enthusiasts there quickly snapped up a few hundred postcards. That kept us busy until... actually it's still keeping us busy! The Post Office in Timbuktu even ran out of stamps a few days ago and we had to send more up from Bamako!
Ali and the boys were also featured in a short TV production by 3sat, a German channel that admirably does their fair share of culture documentaries. You can view the documentary online...
The abnormally long voyage of certain postcards
Most of our postcards and other items arrive at their destinations in 2-3 weeks from the time that they are ordered. Some of them take much longer, though, and every now and then, they get lost.
We encourage customers to contact us if an order is taking too long. Often, we send out a replacement. But sometimes seemingly lost items magically appear after many weeks or even months. Here are a few exchanges with clients who experienced just that.
In this case, the postcard was a birthday card. It took nearly two months...