When I travel, I enjoy bringing home presents for my family members, although that will probably change a little at some point as the family continues to expand. It’s fun to pick out little treasures for everyone, although it can also be a little stressful for the people that are a little harder to buy presents for. Currently, it is deiniftely the most fun to get things for my nephews, T and K, because they are so fascinated with small, simple things. All I have to do is give them a coin from the country of interest and they are quite content.
Becca was in twon with her boys shortly after I returned from New Zealand and while they were here I gave both T and K a New Zealand dollar coin. T liked it a lot. Shortly thereafter, Becca drove up to Idaho to celebrate the 4th of July with the family up there. I drove up a day later. When I arrived, Becca told me that T had been bragging to our cousin David, who is the same age as T, about his aunt Maria who traveled to lots of places and brought him home cool things. “In fact,” he said, “I wonder if she’s going somewhere right now to bring me home something else.” Becca had to inform him that I was actually traveling up to Idaho at the moment, not somewhere new and exotic.
Sadly, T misplaced his New Zealand dollar, so when they were back here for another visit last week, he asked if he could have a replacement. Then he asked if I had any money from any other countries I could give him. I kept forgetting to check my closet at home, but my wallet is full of random coins, so I was able to give him two different baht coins from Thailand and a Kenyan shilling, and I promised him that I would search my closet for Norwegian Kroner, Russian rubles, and Moroccan durums. T was thrilled and clutched his new little “coin collection” tightly.
That night, my dad had some colleagues from Japan over for dinner. As T doesn’t understand the definition of shy, he sat with dad at the table and talked to the visitors until Dad suggested that maybe other people would like a chance to talk, too. At some point, he shwoed the visitors his coin collection, and the next thing he knew, they gave him some yen to add to it. Then Dad told T that he had some coins from China he could give him, and T reminded him of this every fifteen minutes until he went and got them out. Now T had a little baggie full of his coins from around the world. Tricia offered to mail him coins from Ghana, Argentina, and Chile. Then I got all excited and thought that he should be able to visualize all the places he was getting money from, so I offered to find a map with just the outlines of all the countries in the world to send him so he could color in all the countries he has currency from. I like being an aunt. I get the fun of interacting with great kids and doing fun things with them- and it's a part-time position. I must start planning my next international trip so I can bring home more exotic currency for T.