I always find care packages such and telling way of understanding a person and what is important to them. Lifting the lid of the box reveals what friends and family deemed worth of paying good money to have sent. It speaks of the comforts of one’s home that are most missed by the receiver. For instance a person who dug through a parcel sent to me would quickly learn the tale of a coffee-addicted, chocolate-loving, book –reading young lady.
For the last few weeks one of our Uyghur friends has been staying with us as we waits to go meet up with her husband on the other side of the country. Today a care package arrived from her village down south, that her mother had carefully filled with goodies from her home town. I was anxious to look over her shoulder and see what treats were pulled out. I wanted to watch her face fill will excitement as she saw the items that represented the things see missed most. The first layer was bags of raisins, walnuts, almonds and other dried fruits and nuts. Under that there were eggs, more than a dozen fresh, home-grown, hard boiled eggs. The whole bottom half of the box was nothing but homemade nan (bread) wrapped in newspaper. Some of the bread was baked with real pieces of lamb and lamb fat right inside. The contents tell the story of a small town girl, travelling to a very non-muslim part of the country. She and her family know how hard it is to find Hallal food, so her mom took the time, and energy to send her things fresh from their farm.
Our roommate clapped her hands with excitement and pulled out the eggs and bread. “Girls, look what my mom has sent. Please eat!” My American roommate and I looked back and forth at each other, wondering if it was indeed wise to eat the newly arrived food. When my mom sends me a care package it can take over two months to get to me. My roommate was having the same thought “how long has this thing been in the mail? Is it safe to eat?” Thankfully we quickly learned that her mom had just put the package together the night before and sent it all via the overnight bus.