Gina writes:

Living in tiny Koraput limits our access to products and foods that we're used to having in the U.S. Demand and ability to pay for imported foods just doesn't exist, so we've really been craving some familiar foods.

The idea of tasty, preservative-filled, unhealthy-but-delicious American snacks and treats was planted in our heads when Corey's parents told us that they had sent us a Christmas package filled with familiar foods. The package was sent from Ohio on December 12 and was expected to arrive in time for Christmas. We had given up hope of ever receiving it when it finally came yesterday!

The package was delivered to the office and our co-workers were certainly amused at our excitement. We were like little kids on Christmas morning! We found some edible treats (beef jerky, Pepperidge Farms cookies, molasses cookies, Oreos, crackers, cheese, summer sausage, hot chocolate) and also a surprise gift for each of us (yarn for me, a Hofbrauhaus flag for Corey). I think we might have mortified (and possibly offended) our co-worker when she asked what the beef jerky was!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! We've gotten Christmas cards from other family members as well, which were really appreciated. For the rest of you, if you want to send a card, letter, photos, whatever, we would love it! Our address is:

South Orissa Voluntary Action (SOVA)
Rangbalikhumbha Road
Koraput - 764 020
Dist: Koraput, Orissa, India

After receiving the package, our spirits were high the rest of the day. To make the day even better, we stopped at a new shop, the Refreshment Zone, on our way home from the market, to buy pizza!

It was mediocre at best, mostly due to the super-sweet sauce. A fun taste of home, nonetheless.

While waiting for the pizza to be ready, we had a great conversation with the shop owner. He speaks great English and explained that he buys his inventory from Vishakapatnam and Calcutta (larger cities), where he can get any product we want! We asked him to get coffee beans, brown bread, cheddar cheese, and toilet paper. Continued purchase of products like these depends on the price, but we're excited about this new option for non-Indian goods!