How I Shipped My Camera to the States for Repair, Got It Back and Yes…Epic Rain
I’m trying to focus on the postive right now – and not my wet socks, 1000 wet towels, the 3 feet of water surrounding our house and three wet dogs. * For more on the epic rain, please scroll to the bottom of this post. I can’t just brush aside this much rain just like that!
I got my CAMERA BACK FROM REPAIR IN THE STATES! And it only took 2.5 months – from San Pedro to the US and back to San Pedro! WOOHOO! So I thought I’d tell you how it all went down.
Because as I wrote about it, somewhat jokingly, in my post: If Trump Wins, I’m Moving to Belize.
One of the “CONS” of moving to Belize: “We don’t have Amazon Prime. Plus, FedEx is CRAZY expensive and the post office takes 2-4 weeks. All imports are subject to duty (which can be up to 50% or more of purchase price) This is probably a deal-breaker for a decent number of you. Next day delivery is pretty much a constitutional right at this point. I mean…the framers would have wanted it that way.”
Yes. I am quoting myself. And while I was joking…a bit…a handful of people have told me that they could not COULD NOT move to a country without Amazon Prime. I appreciate that sort of self-awareness.
There is no one-day shipping to Belize…and no two-day shipping. I was actuallly really surprised and pleased by the 2.5 month turn around on my camera. And a total combined shipping fee of $97bzd. So let me tell you how I did it.
I purchased a new camera in January. On sale from Amazon – an older model but well-reviewed. It was a big purchase for me but…do you remember January? The world seemed ripe with possibilities! And income flow.
I bought it and Amazon Primed it to…Queens, NY. My friend Brian was coming down to Belize and would be able to carry it in his luggage.
THAT is the ideal shipping method from the US to Belize. It’s just unfortunate that some friends balk when asked to ferry down the really big stuff. (Jeff’s running joke is that he is going to send someone an anvil. Just to see what they’d do.)
Holy crap – you CAN get free shipping on a 66lbanvil. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
In late August, my camera just stopped working – mid-photo shoot. Turned itself off and wouldn’t go back on. No reboot, no change of battery pack, nothing would start her. I called Olympus, talked to a lovely man in Cali, Columbia (I”ve been there!) and they told me to send it in for repair.
Not as easy as it sounds.
Mail it from Belize (our borders and the International Airport were closed) to New Jersey and the repair center.
So I wrapped her up in bubble wrap and then styrofoam and fit the camera snuggly in a box. On September 4 – I shipped it via Express Mail to New Jersey. $50bzd. I could have paid $30bzd for basic mail but here I got a tracking number – which alerted me when it got on the once a week flight to the States (during the lock-down) and when it arrived.
(I have a friend who shipped his defective camera for return to the States at about the same time – he shipped via Fedex. It cost almost $200US and took 7 days)
My package arrived at the Olympus Repair Center in South Hackensack, NJ on September 20th – was examined, her circuit board was replaced and she was ready to ship back out less than a week later.
Now how to get it back to Belize?
I shipped the box to a consolidator. A company where you ship your items – and they consolidate them (once a month) to a container that travels to Belize – either by truck or ship. The company I use is called Joseph Freight – there are quite a few that ship to Belize. Ask friends for recommendations!
They charge based on the size of the box ONLY. Not by weight or contents. Normally anything shipped to Belize from abroad is subject to Duty – from 0 to 100% of the cost of the item.
My small box was $40bzd.
They leave from various locations once a month – and it generally takes about 3 weeks to arrive in Belize and then another day to get to San Pedro via water taxi or plane. (Shipment was $7bzd from Belize City to San Pedro on the water taxi)
So the exciting news is that my “good camera” is BACK. And working.
And now to the rain.
Remnants of Iota? Tropical wave? Hell year? I don’t really care anymore. It does not stop raining! We had over 20 inches a few weeks back – for Hurricane Eta – and her wonky path up thru Central America.
And now Iota. Which stayed way to the south of us but what remains is endless rain! The Thursday night, Friday night, non-stop.
Roads are flooded – both in town (here are photos by Ramon’s VIllage late yesterday morning)
And north – we have knee-high water around our house. Again.
It rained HARD for 2 nights and HARD for much of yesterday morning and afternoon. And then it slowed. A few hard bursts last night and now the sun is TENTATIVELY coming out. (There is rain and sun predicted today.)
I’ve heard over 40 inches this month – possibly more. A boat yesterday. (This boat – which is NOT easy to sink – did sink with the last storm. She now stays afloat…)
The weather this morning to the west – photo taken about 15 mins ago. The toads are loving it – a tadpole wiggles by once in a while.
This morning to the east. Not so bright.
I will say that the wildflowers are loving it. A pretty wild sweet pea on the beach.
Hopefully, the mainland is okay – though this much rain will pressure the already HIGH rivers. And that we can ALL dry out over the next week.