About a year ago, I blogged about one of the greatest gifts I had ever received here. As the holidays roll around I always think about what would be the perfect gifts for the special people in my life. I sometimes do okay but usually give things that will be forgotten – gift cards, practical items, food, jewelry, etc. Maybe if I was as creative as I would like to be if I had some time to dig in I would come up with some better ideas. Or if I had lots of spare cash I would take more people on adventures we could share in.

In the past month I have been lucky enough to have received two awesome travel-related gifts from friends. I thought I would share them with you here because that way I can stop trying to think of ways to share them with people in passing, like, OMG, I just got this awesome gift and I need to tell you about it right now! Or, you need to come over for dinner (one, because I like dinner guests and two, so I can show you these neat gifts I just got). I thought sharing them might help you think of ways you can give gifts to your loved ones that they will cherish for years to come.

My friend Kristen kept telling me that I needed to scrapbook my photos from Madagascar. She was trying to help me figure out a way to incorporate the small journal that I wrote in everyday. The solution was a small scrapbook she made plus this cool little trunk that holds it, the journal and a bunch of small keepsakes like currency, stones, ticket stubs and cards people sent me while I was there.
If you’ve ever done a work holiday party where gifts are exchanged, you probably never imagine getting anything that A) you like or B) is really thoughtful. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this journal up to find that it was both. One of my co-workers filled this journal full of prompts, ideas for reflection, little envelopes to insert flora or recipes into from the locals for my upcoming Liberian adventure. So cool!

In other news, I think our passports are bound for the Liberian Embassy for our visas and I have a doctor’s appointment set for more malaria medication and a check-up. I leave for Maine the day after tomorrow to spend some time with my family. Stay warm wherever you are in the world!

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