In less than two weeks, DD1, thirteen of her friends, and two All-American High teachers take off for China. The six months since her Chinese partner departed for home seem to have flown by, and I can’t believe it’s time for our group to travel. Our challenge in the next few days: find suitable gifts that travel well and don’t set us back a small fortune.
Gifts are big in the Chinese culture. The students and teachers who visit AHS each year continually produce gifts for everyone they come across. While our student lived with us, she not only gave us some beautiful items but also had something on hand for all of the extended family, including grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts and uncles. I’m not sure where she stowed all those items in her one suitcase!
Now that DD1 will be meeting many new people in Chengdu, we need to reciprocate–with gifts not made in China! So far, I’ve purchased Vera Bradley jewelry cases, interesting charm necklaces to go in them, and matching coin purses for our exchange student and her mother. While honestly not completely my taste, Vera Bradley items always prove popular with our Chinese guests, and they are not readily available for them. We’ve also decided to send a coffee table book about our city to her host dad.
The bigger challenge is what to send for the other miscellaneous gifts. I’m open to any and all suggestions!