At the post office in Kigali

Last week I visited the Kigali post office, which is called Iposita. I had a parcel to send to another continent, and it needs to get there before Christmas or ideally before 6 December (it’s a Secret Santa gift for one the members of my Polish lady bloggers club 🙂 ). I was curious about this experience as, you know, visiting post offices in various places around the world can be a slightly frustrating experience sometimes 😉  

Image result for iposita kigali

The only thing I’d heard about Rwandan postal service before was that it generally works but very slowly. A postcard from Rwanda to the UK usually takes about 3 weeks to arrive so I assumed a small parcel to a big country will take about twice as long. When I entered the building, there was no one at the counter, only a couple of people down the corridor who were probably waiting for a Western Union money transfer. The man at the counter was young and friendly, and luckily spoke good English. In Rwanda nobody is a ever in too much of a hurry so without any haste he asked me about the parcel’s destination, he weighed it, studied the prices (he wasn’t completely sure where the country of destination was), then he calculated the cost, took out a box which turned out to be too small, so he dug under his desk for a bigger one, calculated the cost again, this time including the box… In the meantime we were chatting and he asked me where I was from and what I did in Rwanda, so I told him a bit and then found out he had done an online degree in business management and was looking for a better job, and that he had once applied for a position at the British High Commission (where I’m currently working) but didn’t even get invited to an interview. He wasn’t too worried about it though, and generally seemed quite cheerful and upbeat. I filled in a little form (which was all in French and looked like it was from 1980s), wrote the address on the parcel and was told not to include my own address, only a phone number as in case of any problems they will call me (now I wonder if it was a good idea but I’ll start to worry in December if I don’t hear that the parcel got to its destination by then). I paid and was about to say goodbye when the man mumbled something about WhatsApp and email address. I thought I was supposed to give my email as well as the phone number, and that maybe I’d get a WhatsApp message about the parcel or something like that. But no. The man handed me a slightly dog-eared piece of paper, all scribbled on, and asked if I could write my email address on it. I asked what he needed it for, and he simply replied – so we can message each other… I explained, politely and with a smile, that I don’t give my email address to strangers. The man looked a bit startled and confused so I thanked him for his help with the parcel, wished him a nice day and good luck with job hunting, and quickly walked out. So this time my visit to the post office wasn’t particularly frustrating but its conclusion did suprise me a bit. I only hope the guy doesn’t figure out that my mobile number is on that little form I filled in 😉

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