Sunday, May 13, 2012

Florida, Indonesia, and Mexico -- Worldwide Cultural Exchange Package

A bit later than I intended with this post... I was having photo difficulties, largely of my own making.  ANYWAY...

We received our first package from Little Red Farm's Worldwide Cultural Exchange!  A family was representing 3 places:  Mexico (where she is from), the US State of Florida (where he is from), and Indonesia (where they currently live).  This package was so much fun!  They really went all out. They got grandparents involved, and you know what that means... spoiling the children! ;)

Little people wild-excited about getting the first package (edited slightly for some privacy).

Eagerly watching as it was being opened.

A box full of fun stuff!

And a letter, which told about the things included, about their family, and about the places represented (I also edited this photo a bit). 

from Florida:  postcards, geckos, and Cracker Jacks

The Cracker Jacks have all been eaten. :)
Florida is one of our favorite states.  We've taken family trips there and really enjoyed it, so it's pretty familiar to us.  It is beautiful, and we like that it stays so much warmer there year-round than here.  We've been out on boats a couple times and seen the dolphins, which was really fun. 
These items are from Indonesia -- closer photos below. 
They were so thoughtful to send things they thought each of the children would like individually.  The rattle was for Abraham.

He likes it. :)
Two Pencils with Batik.  From their letter: "batik is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique.  You can find batik everywhere in Indonesia.  Daddy wears batik to work once a week.  A lot of people wear batik at very formal weddings."

Paper Decoration, a traditional Indonesian handicraft.  It opens out...

... to look like this.  It's neat to see it fold out, and it's pretty too.  This has been one of the more fascinating things for the children. 

Wayang Puppet Keychain.  Here's what they said in the letter about it: "Wayang is a Javanese word for particular kinds of theatre (literally 'theatre' or sometimes 'puppet')." 

Zion showing a Batik Leather Keychain (she's eating something from Mexico, shown below).

From Mexico, they sent a bunch of neat stuff.  Look at all of this!
 There was a Matraca Toy, Loteria (a game like Bingo), Miniature Ceramic Pots, Toy Guitar, Balero Toy, Bracelets (one for each of the girls!), Cup and Ball Toy, Zarapes (shawls), a Mexican Flag, and different types of candy: Mazapan, Paleta Coronado, and Paleta Sandia.

A bit closer shot of all the Mexican items.

The candy was quite a hit, or at least the sweet stuff.  It was very good.  The paleta sandia is a watermelon candy with a taste like the Jolly Rancher candy we have here in the US.  The twist is that it's on a stick and is dipped in a spicy chili powder.  Bizarre (to us!).  Here's my husband's reaction, ha:
Once you got the chili powder off, they were pretty good, though.

Another thing we want to comment about is the matraca.  It's a toy "whose only purpose is to make noise.  Either to cheer for a team at a stadium or to celebrate national holidays."    It's only made of wood, but it makes a REALLY loud noise -- quite surprisingly loud.  I tried video taping, but it really didn't capture the sound.  You just have to hear it.   The neighbors will think we bought the children a machine gun to play with.  Oh, no, dear neighbors, not to worry -- it's only the weird homeschoolers  doing cultural studies! :)
This is the matraca.
And this is the children's response upon hearing it:

My photos were rather off as I was trying to get them quickly as well as laughing myself in surprise, but you get the idea.

the girls holding the zarapes

beautiful bracelets

I didn't include photos of the other items close up, as this is lengthy already and you can see them okay for the most part in the larger photo, but we have been enjoying them, too.
All the children except Abraham with the package contents.

THANK YOU to the family who sent us this package!  And thanks once again, as well, to Rachael at Little Red Farm, who coordinated this exchange.


  1. Such an amazing package! There really isn't anything better than seeing excited children huddling round a table inspecting some new found treasure!!

  2. It's been a little while since I've stopped by and visited your blog. Having a brand new baby here makes it easier somehow to sit and surf the web ;-) I'm enjoying reading your posts.

    I love the package idea! How neat for your kids to experience other places and cultures in your own home, so cool. The photo with your baby and the rattle/maraca and older brother makes me smile, so sweet!

  3. I just love this idea! Good for you--that's fun AND educational. The picture of the kiddos around the unopened box is absolutely precious--so much excitement and anticipation there. Oh, and John's facial expression is just too funny. :)