Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Regalos

You know you’re a grown-up when your sister gives you a crock pot for your birthday, and the thing is, you are really, truly, genuinely excited about this. Thanks, Michelle, for the lovely and gigantic crock pot, and thank you especially for the recipes you included. I love it that you carefully blacked out any offending item such as “chicken stock” and neatly wrote in “vegetable broth” to replace it.

At any rate, Rob and I are going back to Nicaragua next week. This is mainly because ever since we left Nicaragua a year ago, I have wanted nothing but to go back. Additionally, I decided to go away for my birthday in hopes that friends/family would just overlook it this year and not give me anything or even mention it. But my sister has already foiled the plan with her preemptive crock pot.

The thing is, I want to take some gifts back to people in Nicaragua but I am having trouble coming up with ideas. If anybody out there has any suggestions, I am all ears. This is complicated by various issues. First of all, there are luggage restrictions nowadays, so we are going to try to just fit all of our stuff—including gifts for people— into our carry-ons. So its got to be small, compact, light-weight, non-liquid, and nothing that could be construed as a weapon. The other thing is that I am not entirely sure how many people I will need to give gifts to. I will want to give a gift to Leda for sure—she is the only one who has been emailing me all this time, keeping me updated on what is happening at Ometepe. There’s generally a pretty high turnover of employees at the Hacienda, so I’m not sure if anybody who was working when I left will still be there. I imagine some awkwardness if I show up with gifts for some people but not others, and I just don’t want anybody’s feelings to get hurt. So whatever I bring, I just need to bring a ton of them and dole them out to whomever I find still there. My initial idea was to get the women canvas bags and then to decorate them, like the one I started (shown to the right). I think I may stick with this for the women in the kitchen, but the bigger issue is of course Eduardo.

I know Rob thinks I’m setting myself up for disaster. There’s a genuine possibility that he’s either turned into an insolent teenager or that he’s disappeared and I won’t be able to find him. I’ve thought and thought and then laid awake and thought some more about what to bring him. I would love to get him some good hiking boots, but how would I know what size shoe he wears? A year ago, his feet were just a little bit smaller than mine, but now its hard to say. The same with clothing. Who knows how much he’s grown between the ages of 12 and 13. So I’m at a loss. What would you get for a 13 year old Nicaraguan boy who has nothing and never has had anything, who has never known his father, who has been sent to live with his grandmother, who is the dearest, sweetest, most generous child to ever grace this planet? I just don’t know. If anybody has any suggestions, please do let me know.

I think I’m just bad at getting gifts for people. I’ve realized that this is partially because people tend to give others things that they want or like themselves. And what I like most of all is emptiness: blank white walls, clean, uncluttered spaces, general nothingness. I hate excess and piles of things and feeling overwhelmed or undeserving. Birthdays and holidays are complicated by the fact that my sister and sisters-in-law are great gift-givers. They always find the nicest things for people; meanwhile, the Ragfields walk in with something home-made that is wrapped in a brown paper bag. So all you great gift-givers out there, tell me your secrets!

Alright, gotta go put some ice on my aching, old-lady knees. Thanks for reading!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I vote for a WHOLE lotta BAGS for the ladies..... OR some cute dishcloths that you knit up so well!!! Eduardo , would probably LIKE most anything you took him!!! will pray for a great trip, with SMOOTH waters as you 'ferry' across--- and SMOOTH FLIGHTS as you FLY across. and SMOOTH roads as you BUS or TAXI the last leg of the trip!!! AND GOOD LUCK with FINDING everyone , including the MONKEY's esp. W/B!!!! Thanks for a WONDERFUL day seeing CHAMBANA--- Have fun with the NEW CROCKPOT!!!! safe traveling, luv and hugs, foxy mama

amypfan said...

I cannot wait to hear updates on Wrinkle Belly, Eduardo, and all the others! Happy early brithday from me. :)

Anonymous said...

THE BAGS ARE PERFECT. I ALSO LIKE THE IDEA OF THE DISHCLOTHS. ANYTHING FROM YOU WILL BE PERFECT.
I KNOW THEY WILL LOVE THEIR GIFT BECAUSE THEY LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH.

AS FOR EDUARDO, I LOVE THE BOOTS IDEA. IF YOU GUESS THE SIZE, GUESS A SIZE BIGGER. BOYS WILL GROW A SIZE OR TWO A YEAR AT THAT AGE. THE GOOD NEWS IS, HE'LL BE ABLE TO WEAR THEM LONGER IF YOU GUESS A SIZE TOO BIG.

Oh, and just because he fit into the same size as you a year ago - - for heaven's sake, just remember that men's and woman's sizing are not the same. In other words, a 6 in a woman's shoe is not a 6 in man's. So you can use your foot length to measure, or your shoe, but don't use YOUR shoe size. Better take your boot to the boot store to measure the length rather than the size...then say I want 1-2 sizes bigger. : )

HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP. WHAT A GREAT BIRTHDAY SURPRISE.

LOVE YOU GUYS!

MOMSCHO