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Author Topic: Gifts for your host family  (Read 6290 times)

Offline Tyler

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Gifts for your host family
« on: December 16, 2013, 12:34:21 PM »
I've read it's not a bad idea to bring a sort of gift or gifts for your host family. Did you guys bring anything? Any recommendations? (I'm particularly curious about Latin America PCVs, but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated).
-Tyler, FPCV, Costa Rica

Offline Jeff

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 01:54:05 PM »
I brought some "cheap" timex digital watches to give to my host family during PST and a slightly more expensive one for my counterpart (I knew before I left that we all were assigned counterparts), and some t-shirts from home (from my college and hometown) to give to some other friends.

They all went over really well, especially the watches...
Jeff
RPCV - Ghana, 03-05
PCV - Macedonia, 15-17

Offline Marion

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 06:00:17 PM »
One inexpensive suggestion I heard was to bring calendars with nice pictures of the USA.

We were all told not to give gifts because it gives the host families an expectation of getting stuff.  Despite that we gave our host mother a headlamp because she loved ours so much.  She loved it. 
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline harrysargent

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 06:05:12 AM »
Seems as though we have run the gamut here in Macedonia from pictures of oneself to microwave ovens. Large, expensive gifts set a bad precedence that most volunteers can follow. If you think your host family will not flaunt your gift throughout the community you are mistaken, they get together and compare. My host family never missed an opportunity to let me know a previous volunteer who was medivaced early left them a TV, microwave, blankets, billows and just about anything else you could imagine that was needed to furnish his apartment. I felt really guilty when I left just leaving a book from Oregon. Keep it simple and inexpensive, it will be equally appreciated and remembered.

Offline Mary

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 11:34:50 AM »
I brought a nice picture book of my city (Philadelphia) that had some nice photographs they could enjoy along with some inexpensive candies. I never thought about expensive gifts setting a precedent - that is good to keep in mind. But I think inexpensive gifts that connect somehow to your home town is a nice idea.

Also when I was a PCV and traveling around the region I carried a stack of postcards of Philadelphia around with me. Usually I would use these to explain a little something about where I lived. For people who helped me out in one way or another I would choose one postcards and write a message on the back, turning it into a thank you note

Offline shawn

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2013, 05:37:03 PM »
Mary, that postcard idea is genius. Although I never did it during my service, I think its a real nifty thing, especially if you're not from New York or California...
PCVL - Rwanda 2010-2013
NPCA Serving Volunteer Advisory Council

Offline PeaceCorps1

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Re: Gifts for your host family
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2014, 04:45:03 PM »
Yes, it is nice to take gifts. But, I was hurting financially when I was to go to Peace Corps, so I just scrounged through my personal possessions. I gave candles that I had never lit, candle holders, key chains, etc. Do not break the bank. Anything gaudy usually is eagerly accepted.
"If it were not for the reporters, I'd tell you the truth"', President Chester A. Arthur