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Headline: Postal Fallout From Ivory Coast Peace

Recent peace in the Ivory Coast has postal workers sorting through five years of accumulated, undelivered mail. Since war and peace is so often expressed in terms of number of lives lost, lists of parties in power — reducing the situation to the statistics — this story stands out for its root in humanity.

Following a failed army rebellion in 2002, the country split in half, leaving rebels in charge of the north. Post offices were subsequently looted, and all postal workers fled to the south. For the last five years, all letters and packages addressed to those living in the north have been date-stamped and put into storage. Sifting through the piles reveals a sad timeline of the war's hidden cost, of opportunities lost, of love undeclared.

One man was devastated after receiving an out-of-date letter saying that he had passed the entrance exam to study at the Sorbonne university in Paris. However, some sentiments haven't lost their power during their five years of exile. One man received a love letter from a woman he thought he'd lost forever during the war. Seeing the words she wrote years before still brought him joy.

War's effects extend so far beyond the fighting. Can you imagine receiving a love letter years after it was written?


Join The Conversation
tkoblondee tkoblondee 9 years
What a touching turn of events!
emalove emalove 9 years
Wow...this is very touching. My best friend was in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast from 1999-2001. She was evacuated because of all the political turmoil and violence; it was unsafe for the volunteers to be there. She had to leave in such a hurry that she didn't get to say good-bye to the people whose village she lived in. She still has a hard time talking about this experience to this day.
KrisSugar KrisSugar 9 years
my friend's grandmother found one recently that was written to her in WW2 by her husband. She had never seen it before. It must have been lost in the shuffle of things and put away, I dont know. but i cried when I heard!
NYYPrincess NYYPrincess 9 years
How utterly heartbreaking. Makes me evne more grateful to live in America despite our own problems.
katie_c katie_c 9 years
this article made my eyes well up with both sadness and joy: love undeclared but words still bringing joy. sigh. i think many of us long for love like that. and love in the written form is such a lost art...
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
One man was devastated after receiving an out-of-date letter saying that he had passed the entrance exam to study at the Sorbonne university in Paris. Oh my, I'd be devastated too! I hope that Sorbonne will be understanding and allow him to still attend.
JovianSkies JovianSkies 9 years
That's so heartwrenching! I hope good things come to those people, even after all that time. (Great concept for a movie, though, don't you think?)
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
OMG. This is so sad and very touching! :(
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