Monday, January 10, 2011

KEEPSAKES when travelling to Ethiopia

YES, it has been a while since I last blogged, but that is for another blog post.  Maybe Wednesday.  Sweet stories.  Happy to share.  Soon.

However, this post takes precedence. 

A number of you emailed me or commented on my post, PRECIOUS GIFT, a few days ago.  I am glad that you asked me to share with you some of the ideas that Caycee and I discussed in regards to items to purchase for keepsakes while visiting our little one(s) in Ethiopia.  

I thought it best to just blog about it and share the mentioned ideas with everyone ~ while also asking you to PLEASE feel free to ADD TO THE LIST!  The more ideas we conjure up together, the more prepared we will all be when we are actually in Ethiopia (ET) and find ourselves with limited shopping time!  

I will start the list, and will include any ideas discussed with Caycee and other people who have already gone over to ET.  Please "comment" with any other sweet ideas you have ~ to include items you already purchased, plan to purchase or wish you had purchased!  

Here Goes.............

1.  COFFEE POT AND CUPS.  Coffee ceremonies are common in ET.  I have heard from quite a few people that these do not travel well, however.  Travel with, or ship, at your own risk, I guess!  :)

2.  ETHIOPIAN OUTFITS.  This is good to buy for the children you are currently adopting, as well as anyone else in the family!  One person shared with me this weekend (at our Ethiopian Christmas celebration.....part of my next post) that she wishes she would have gotten outfits for her children for future birthdays/ages/sizes.  Something to tuck in the back of the memory bank.

3.  WOODEN NATIVITY SET.  A couple of friends, now, have shared with me how they cherish their ET nativity set.  Whether you use it right away, or save it for your child's first Christmas in their own house, I think it is a precious idea!

4.  ETHIOPIAN BIBLE.   My friend, Amber, bought one in Amharic; while Caycee found a bible that had both Amharic and English.  Either way, wonderful idea!

5.  ARTWORK.  Many have shared the idea of purchasing ET specific artwork. Whether it is ET artistic style, or actual pictures of real places they visited while in Ethiopia.

6.  WINE GLASSES.  My friend, Allison, said that she and her husband bought two wine glasses to gift to their daughters on their wedding day.  Awesome!

7.  JEWELRY.  It sounds like there is quite a lot of jewelry to choose from when visiting ET.  We could purchase special pieces for different "events" in our childrens' lives (ex, birthdays, graduation, wedding, etc).  Amber got a lot of great pieces over there and enjoys having me marvel over them!  {smile}

8.  SPICES.  I remember reading that purchasing spices has multi-factorial benefits.  One, just having spices set out allows the room to take on a similar Ethiopian scent, which comes in handy when trying to help our children adjust to their new home.  Second, having these spices will definitely come in handy when we are trying to cook Ethiopian Cuisine!

9.  NICKEL CROSSES (or any other Christian items you see).  It isn't hard to find pretty crosses made of nickel when over there in Ethiopia.  This could make a great gift on some special occasion! or be neat to put up in their room!

10.  ETHIOPIAN MUSIC.  From what Jeff and I have been listening to, thus far, we LOVE Ethiopian music!  We can't wait to listen to it in person!  We definitely want to buy some CDs while we are over there!  Anyone know of particularly good musicians we should be sure to NOT leave ET without getting CDs?

11.  SCARVES.   Many women wear scarves over there (as we do here).  Their scarves are known to be beautiful, and again, could be worn now (by us mommas!) and/or be saved for a gift on a special occasion for our daughters and/or our son's brides!

12.  FABRIC.  My dear neighbor, Lisa, offered the suggestion of buying genuine ET fabric.  She says the fabrics in Africa are exotic and very beautiful and she threw out a bunch of ideas of what she could help me make with the fabric!  (ex, curtains, framed fabrics, pillows, valences, you name it, she likely thought of it!)

13.  BOOKS.  Especially children's books that represent what Ethiopian children do as growing up.  How they like to play, etc.  I've found some good sites, here in the US, if you are interested, let me know.



erica said...

Wonderful ideas! :)

MamaMimi said...

I want to purchase a mesob table! (I THINK that's how it's spelled?)

Brandy Wade said...

These are great ideas! I never would have thought about buying spices. We have been listening to Ethiopian music as well! It is amazing. I hope we get to hear some live music while we're there. I suggest the Ethiopiques series. We have several of them now. My favorite is Ethiopiques #7 Ere Mela Mela. If you haven't heard it, give it a listen! : )

Jodes and Boz said...

What a great list! I've also been trying to get an idea of what we'd like to purchase. You pretty much listed everything we came up with, though the spices and wine glasses were new! My husband and i would love to purchase 17 items to give to our little one(s) on their birthday, and on their 18th we'd love to take them back to Ethiopia. Assuming of course we don't make it back before then. LOL!

i also want to pick up a hat like this, as i think it'd be adorable in pictures!,+little+hats.jpg

Randee said...

LOVE this post and I will be refering back to it several times as we get ready to travel in the coming months! Thank you for sharing!

Randee said...

Debb- two things:
1- I would love to connect with you via email so if you are open to that you can reach me at We go back and forth on each other's blogs and this may be helpful :)

2- Here is a link to another blog that talked about places to shop at, eat and stay in ET and they also listed some items they bought their children (a boy and a girl) that I thought were really cool!

jkseevers said...

Great post, Debb! Awesome ideas. My girlfriend adopted from China and one of the things she treasures the most is a beautiful quilt made in China for her bed... I'm sure that they probably make beautiful bed coverings in ET from those beautiful fabrics:)
I can't WAIT to go!!! More eager now than ever!

Here's to a quick referral for you! Blessings.

Rob and Candy said...

Hi- we use NICKEL CROSSES on our Christmas tree!! Henry loves to put "his" crosses on the tree. It's so sweet!!
Also, when you go shopping you can find children songs on CD! They are very fun- you may hear Twinkle twinkle when in Amharic.

Olivia said...

Great ideas! When we were in ET we bought some beautiful animal carvings that were supposedly ivory. I believe we got a lion and rhino. No, coffee pots do not travel well. We bought three and two broke! I never thought about wine glasses. What a neat thing to be able to give to your child/ren one their wedding day!


Debb said...

Mama Mimi ~ Mesob table! Yes, I believe that IS how you spell it! What a great idea! Hadn't thought of that! THANKS!

Brandy ~ going to check them out tonight! Can't wait to hear them!

Jodes ~ those hats ROCK! SO CUTE!

Randee ~ YES! I have been meaning to email you since you posted this! I will tonight for sure! :) And I follow plan A too, but missed that post so THANK YOU!!! Great info for sure!!!!

K ~ GREAT idea about the quilt with the fabric! I totally LOVE that idea!

Candy ~ sweet idea with the nickel crosses! and as MUCH as i LOVE the sound of children, i hadn't thought of childrens CDs! Stellar idea!

Olivia ~ THANKS for stopping by my blog! I relish your idea of carved ivory animals for sure!

Adding all of these to my list and will add them to the blog (for others who do not read the comments) one day soon! Thanks for chiming in your fabulous ideas!

Lori said...

Hi Debb! Just want you to know I have just been following your blog this week and have laughed and cried with you for HOURS! I am praying God's provision and perfect plan for you and your family:) My tip: if you can possibly take some bubble wrap with you, bringing home the coffee pot might be possible. I brought home some soapstone things from Kenya that way and most were still intact. Lori Campbell

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