Severe Storm in Barbados

I heard that tropical Storm Tomas hit Barbados pretty hard on Saturday October 30. It struck at 6 am so, fortunately, there were few people on the roads driving to work and school. I also hear that there were, thankfully, no fatalities. These two videos not only show the severity of the storm but also show where I used to live. I drove along this road - the Coast Road on the west coast in St. James parish - everyday.

This one shows the same route only driving south on the coast road, going towards Bridgetown.

I hope everyone is doing okay there in Barbados and that the recovery is quick.


Getting Back to the U.S. - Clearing Up Mail Forwarding

I got back to the U.S. August 16 after living in Barbados for nearly a full year. I've needed to write this short update to express some frustrations with the U.S. Postal Service upon my return.

Oddly enough, it was easy to forward my family's mail down to Barbados but going in the reverse took months to rectify; we started receiving mail addressed to our Poughkeepsie adress on October 11. In my mind it was a simple "Turn off the Forward" that should have been easily handled at some sorting center somewhere in my county. I'm including here that the problem, in the U.S. Postal Service's eyes, stems from receiving mail from an adress abroad...note the "We don't handle from foreign addresses" written in under Other. Sheesh! How U.S.-centric can we get!

I was so frustrated with the situation of multiple phones calls and run-around and finger pointing - "It's not MY job" - that I contacted my local state representative. It's an election year, so why not? The assistant to the Senator told me she made a call and got the same crazy run-around that I got and said, ultimately, that because the U.S. Postal Service is a Federally-run entity, I should contact my U.S. Senator. Oy!

I'm not one of those "take your hands off my money" kinds of people and I agree with paying taxes for services for the public good. A functioning mail service is a public good. Our U.S. Postal Service is not, at present, a well-oiled machine.

Funny. I went to a small island nation in the Caribbean and had no problem with my mail getting to me.