I've long joked about trying to put some kind of GPS tracking device on our postcards. Arrival times are incredibly erratic. One card going to Frankfurt may take two weeks and another may take two months (to be fair, the German post is fairly consistent. Italy on the other hand?).
We also have cards that disappear entirely. Where do they go? Are they sitting in a drawer somewhere in a French post office? Have they been stolen? Destroyed? Do people sabotage postcards?
Whatever the case may be, we guarantee delivery and sometimes this involves sending multiple cards to make sure the recipient gets what they ordered/sent to someone else.
Sadly, there are times when people are in fact receiving the cards, but either ignore them or throw them in the trash. Imagine. A piece of mail that has traveled thousands upon thousands of kilometers, passed by hand on motorbike, bus, plane and sometimes boat, and it ends up in the rubbish bin.
Don't believe me?
So that postcard traveled from Timbuktu to end up in an American landfill.
Some moribund postcards do survive despite the odds. These usually lead to great stories.
Then there is the multi-year, multi-address Italian Affair that had all the markings of a true boondoggle for our project. Have a read:
In the end, Maria paid for all of the postcards and we got a wedding invitation out of it as well.
While we have received some threatening and seriously discouraging emails (just read here), most of the clients and supporters of this project are kind souls with infinite patience and a real desire to see things work out for us.
With deep gratitude, we hope to continue to this project despite an uncertain future in Mali.