We’ve written before about our love of correspondence, exchanging postcards, and all things travel and culture. I thought I’d share a little about some of the interesting exchanges we’ve had. We’re in the process of creating some continent boxes and this will fit right in perfectly.
We were recently contacted by Olga via Postcrossing. She asked if we’d like to do a little postcard exchange, and maybe also a train ticket or such. I saw from her profile that she was interested in the Titanic, so I found a Titanic postcard in my drawer, and a couple of brochures for the Titanic Experience and other things to do in Northern Ireland as she’d mentioned she may be coming over for a visit later this year. I found a train ticket from last summer to send her way. I also added a coin from the UK and one from Canada.
I’d already used my little stash of bits and bobs I usually keep on hand for the cultural exchanges now and again, but I tried to do my best with what I had. I hoped that she would find the items interesting.
This week we received a parcel in the post. I’m expecting a couple to arrive from back home and a few review items. But this large package was a surprise from Belarus! What a treat!
It was much more than I was ever expecting! In our package we received:
- A ‘passport’ booklet of pictures and facts about Belarus
- A pretty notebook
- A little reflector to attach to a backpack or jacket to keep us visible when we’re walking after sundown
- 3 colouring books. Two of these are different from the ones that are popular here. These show the completed picture on one side of the page, and the other page has the outlines for you to fill in.
- Stickers, which are always a hit with kids (and adults like me!)
- A magnet showing an Orthodox church in Volkovysk
- Some Belarussian bank notes. Tristan liked how each denomination was a different colour, as well as the big value of them (50, 100, 1000)
- Train, bus, and cinema tickets.
- Postcards with pretty scenes and some information about her on the back.
- A letter.
Olga’s been so very generous and the items she’s sent will definitely keep us busy for a while. Kallista’s ready to jump right into some math.
I passed through Belarus 16 years ago, with just a quick overnight stay in Minsk. It was all kind of a blur, but I do remember it was July 1st when we arrived and there was a parade in the city for their independence day. I enjoyed seeing the end of it and was feeling happy because I was missing Canada Day (also July 1st).
I will definitely have to learn more about Belarus with the children as it’s a very beautiful country. I have some funny memories there – like not being able to pay for items because they were in the middle of a currency change and I couldn’t tell from new to know how much I was paying so I just handed over my cash and let the cashier take what he needed!
This was the perfect package to receive. There are activities to keep the kids busy, there’s something for the kitchen to remind us of our new friend, and we have new things to add to our European continent box so that we can continue to learn about the world.
I will definitely be stopping in the shops the next time I’m in Belfast to see what I can find to send Olga back in return!
Have you ever done a cultural exchange with anyone? How did it go? What do you like to send or receive in packages?