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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Bon Voyage Adoption Baskets

This is a fun idea that you can use for an adoption shower, or gift for a girlfriend traveling abroad to meet or bring home her child.  Tailor it to a couple, family, or single and be creative-!

I put this together for Ivanka who was newly adopting from Ukraine last summer.  She and her husband brought home one teen and are traveling back to add another teen to the mix right now.  (They need prayer-!)

Now that they’re seasoned EE travelers, all is not so strange, whether different kinds of hotels, apartments, or train travel.  I understand that she spent one nervous night in a train compartment with three local men, but that story we’ll have to leave for another day.

These are the items that Alexandra thinks are indispensable.  Feel free to add your own ideas to the mix depending on where your friends might be headed– China, Guatemala, Russia, Ukraine, etc.  You must add explanations to the basket, or your friends will simply think you’re loony.

The goodies I compiled, both silly and sensible, include:

– a Universal Sink Stopper for all of the sinks and tubs with straightforward hole-drains and not much else, and a Folding Toothbrush for on-the-go, or kids who have none;

– Snack Foods for airports, hotel rooms, and long train or car rides: Slim Jims, Granola Bars, Sugarfree Gum, and definitely an Energy Drink (can you say “exhaustion”);

– Kleenex, Moist Wipes, and Hand Sanitizer:  whether adopting a baby or a big child, you’re going to need these in bathrooms, cafes, and local fast-food places; not to mention a Zip-lock Bag or two to collect rocks or shells, special native candies, or metro tickets for souvenirs.  A few very big ziplocks also help for when kids large or small throw-up and you have to bag their clothes till your next destination;

– Squeeze and Pump Bottles:  alright, call me a pessimist or a realist, but I’ve had my fair share of shampoo bottles exploding and splitting during trips abroad.  Always remember not to fill to the brim since the airplane pressure will expand any of your liquid contents;

– Childrearing Books, Decorated Lunch Bags, and a Magnifying Glass will get you through any hard times from the child’s motion sickness (use a bag!), to misbehavior (use the book!), to lost or broken reading glasses (use the magnifier!);

– Sunglasses will help you to keep a low profile in former Communist lands where you want to blend in, or to give the paparazzi the slip.

Put all into an attractive basket or bucket, tie with wrap and a big bow, and voila:  your Bon Voyage Adoption Basket for family or friend!

(Remember to check out my list for what to take when staying in a foreign hotel or apartment, too!  Know before you go, as they say:  http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/russian-hotel-or-apartment/.)




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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Band Aids!!!! I meant to pack these and forgot; and when my sister got a blister on her heel from her new Russian Teva’s (did I mention we were in Siberia in May, we didn’t pack short sleeves or sandals because we were going to Siberia, and it was 85 and humid every single day we were there) she had to have the translator take her to the pharmacy to buy band aids (after the translator figured out what she wanted) and the translator asked her how many she wanted, because in Russia (at least in Ekat), band aids are sold individually. Not by the box.

    • avatar admin says:

      Wow, that’s something–sold individually? If you look very closely in the little ziplock photo… those are bandaids! I saw them after the fact, but I even carry bandaids in my wallet. Small things make a big difference. But really, you’ve never lived unless you need to discuss some urgent issue with a foreign pharmacist. Unfortunately, I have many of these stories to tell…. Ooh, that would make a good blog: foreign pharmacies! (Thank you!)

  2. avatar Winnie says:

    A nice length of heavy cord and some clothespins. I do not think clothes dryers even exist in Ukraine. I did manage to land an apartment with a fold out line dryer but only for the last few days I was there, the rest of the time I spent in a communist era hotel washing clothes in the bathtub and dodging laundry lines strung around the room. I’m sure the hotel maids were impressed.
    I later talked to people who stayed there later and had the hotel launder their clothes at rather high prices. Personally I didn’t think it so horrible and what else are you gonna do in the evenings except watch your undies dry?

    • avatar admin says:

      Ha, ha, ha, I can so relate, Winnie. I am a planner and every traveler knows if you don’t wash your things out at night, there’s no chance they’ll be dry by the second morning. Unless you put them on or near a radiator, which can cause problems all its own. (There were striped marks on that one towel….) I bought a stretchy band, almost like a bungee with loops on either end that can wrap around practically anything. The great thing is that it’s loosely braided, so you can stick the ends of your clothes through one of the openings and it dries faster than just throwing it over in half, no clothespins needed.

    • At our hotel in Ekat we were hanging out the laundry we washed in the bathtub out the open hotel room windows to dry (they were the kind of windows that opened out). Fortunately the hotel had a big butterfly decorative screen on the front of the building at that time, or everyone traveling down Ave Lenina would have been commenting on our clothes hanging out the window. But, you do what you have too, right?

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