On behalf of the Worldwide Culture Swap project we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and thank you for all the kind messages that we have received in the last few months.
As we have mentioned before we are just a few mamas trying to create something that all of our children can benefit from and it has been hugely regrettable that we more or less ground to a halt in the second half of 2013.
By the end of December, we had too many responses for our simple computer system to handle and a big reset had to be performed which has put us back to a new starting point. We have lost all of the data for those who signed up unfortunately :-(
We thought about just stopping the project but too many of you have said that you would like it to continue (and so would we!) so we are relauching and starting fresh, a bit like a ....
So here is what you need to do:
SIGN UP AGAIN
With this fresh starts, we thought we remind you of the process and the new rules that will help us manage the swap more easily. After 3 years of experience, we have been dealing with many issues and we are only trying to sort them out so the adventure stays fun for everyone! This is the only way we will be able to continue this beautiful project, so please read carefully :-)
Please, only sign up if you are 100% sure of participating. Otherwise you may end up disappointing very excited children who thought they were going to get packages. Our aim here is happy families and happy children :-)
When you sign up, you need to confirm your participation by replying to our confirmation email : you have 1 week once we have send you the email (it may take us a couple of weeks to email you so please be patient). Afterwards we will archive your signing in. You are welcome to sign up again after a month.
Only email us if you have been attacked by Aliens :-D. More seriously, please bare in mind we cannot answer the million requests we receive. If you have a doubt, you are welcome to visit our common question page. We have posts and pictures about packages from all around the world to help you prepare, you can also visit our Facebook page.
Once you have been allocated and received your group email with all the details, please do not include our email address when you "reply to all". You are now corresponding within your group and only within your group :-) At this point our work is done.
A little reminder of the process and waiting time :
1. you sign up
2. we sent you a confirmation email (within 2 weeks)
3. you reply to confirm your participation (1 week)
4. this is the waiting part (it can be longer for US families) : please be patient
5. we allocate you into a group and you receive an email with all the details
6. you exchange emails within your group : introduce your familiy, set up a deadline
7. you email a picture of your package to your group
8. ONLY send your packages once you have received a picture of the other families packages
9. you receive and send 4 packages (sometimes less due to cancellation)
10. enjoy and sign up again if you want
What you can do to help :
1. Check your mailbox AND spam box, and make sure your security settings are not too high because sometimes our emails never arrived. You will either receive an email from email@example.com ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; or ; email@example.com
2. We do not have as many non-US families participating, in order to complete the groups as quickly as we would like. Please spread the word if you have families, friends from other countries.
3. Some people sign up and confirm but once set up in a group, they never correspond with their group, nor send packages: the best way to avoid a disappointment is to email each other, get acquainted, email a picture of your package once ready and NEVER send your package before you receive the picture of the other family's package:
- it does not have to spoil the suprise, you can just have a picture of the outside or part of the content.
- you don't have to send all 4 packages at the same time.
Finally, we are so sorry that we cannot always sort out everything. Please bare in mind we are moms as well, and as much as we love managing the worldwide culture swap, children and family (and work) always come first. You can read more about the three of us here, or click on the "welcome box" on the left side.
We thank you for your patience and understanding especially during a year that saw all three of us have babies or fall pregnant, and we hope that you join us once again for our cultural journey around the world!
Mymy, Rach and Deb