Appropriate gift in Romania

Jun 15th, 2002, 04:24 PM
  #1  
Barbara
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Appropriate gift in Romania

I am travelling to Romania on business in July and expect to meet a number of different people, most of whom will be teachers. What would be an appropriate small gift to take along to give each person with whom I spend time?
 
Jun 15th, 2002, 04:34 PM
  #2  
Carol
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A pretty calendar with pictures of your country or the part of your country where you live? (If you say where you live, we may come up with more specific ideas.) Are these teachers of young children? of a subject specialty? or what?
 
Jun 15th, 2002, 05:00 PM
  #3  
Nancy
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I'm not sure if this is appropriate in Romania but on a visit to a hill tribe in Thailand we gave a donation of money to the teacher directly so she could buy supplies. Even in the US teachers spend their own money on supplies so it's a thought. Hope I'm not out of line.
 
Jun 15th, 2002, 06:18 PM
  #4  
Barbara
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The teachers will be varied--elementary and secondary, of all subjects. I understand that the teachers in Romania make very little salary and often have to buy supplies themselves. I prefer to give something a little more personal than money, although I'm sure it would be appreciated, too!
I live near the TN/GA border. Thank you for your suggestions. A calendar might be a good idea. Any other ideas?
 
Jun 15th, 2002, 06:47 PM
  #5  
Sue
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Colorful stickers seem very popular with young children; maybe some sheets of those for the el. teachers?
 
Jun 15th, 2002, 06:55 PM
  #6  
Marc David Miller
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If you feel uncomfortable giving money ask them (or your coordinator) specically what they would want you to give--maybe supplies, maybe books, even maps, and you can even offer to make a cash donation. I often do that when I visit smaller arts organizations in Eastern Europe.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #7  
Barbara
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Thank you for the suggestions!
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 07:16 AM
  #8  
julie
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We were in Romania last year and were invited into the home of a teqacher after they dented our car (a long story). we were told that teachers on average in Romania makae $40-$80 a month. The Romanians were among the friendliest, most welcoming people we have met on our trips. They were thrilled with meeting Americans and we felt as though we could have worn shirts that said, "We're Americans." I think something that has a USA logo might be appreciated. I hesistat to suggest t-shirts because I don't remember seeing anyone but the very young wearing them there. e-mail me directly if you have questions. I don't know if the Maramures area is on your itinerary, but a homestay there was the highlight of all of our trips to Europe.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 07:24 AM
  #9  
Hiho
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I think a pareau for each teacher would make a wonderful gift - very functional. And I hear they are in short supply this summer in both Bucharest and Transylvania.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 08:44 AM
  #10  
teacher
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I should avoid giving money. A friend of mine on a similar visit took cloth shopping bags with pictures of New England birds. She also took small stationary packs with note cards with scenes of her area.
How about some of those books for small children with a picture on one side an a word on the other. The smaller children would enjoy the pictures and would learn a few English words. Perhaps a game like Picture lotto would serve a similar purpose.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 06:30 PM
  #11  
barbara
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I was wondering if gifts with an "american" theme would be appropriate. That's helpful. I may go to all the touristy places near my house and see what they have to offer! The children's picture book is another great idea!
If I take some "American" candy, what would you recommend?
Thanks.
 
Jun 19th, 2002, 11:52 PM
  #12  
mh
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I work for the Internation Red Cross here in Germany, and we just participated in a drive for the Romanian children, we received a list of stuff they needed and it was mostly ordinary school supplies, also toiletry items as the schools don't even supply toilet paper due to complete lack of funding. Also, small toys are always welcome, dollar store stuff not expensive. This country is trying hard to rebuild but it is going to take a long time , as you mentioned you would be dealing with teachers, who are making small salaries and are working without chalk, paper and toilet paper. Also, some good quality coffee may be appreciated...just an idea.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 05:20 AM
  #13  
Barbara
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Boy, do we take a lot of things for granted in the USA! I will think more about getting some school supplies!
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 11:04 AM
  #14  
julie
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We also thought of candy. Had a supply of Snickers I think it was (my husband's favorite and he could eat them if we didn't give them away). We thought they were unique. Guess what? they sell them there too. We visited 2 schools in Romania. One was an elementary that was more aimed at preparing kids for college. It looked fairloy nice until I had to use the bathroom. Really bad news. Believe it or not, the other one we stumbled into inadvertently. We thought it was just an old decrepit building. It was basically a bare classroom with nothing in it (secondary level).
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #15  
barbara
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Julie, did you notice if the school had chalkboards?

I wonder what kind of candy would be unique to America? I was thinking a bag of lifesaver creme savers might be good. I was also thinking of M and M's, but then I saw in the paper this morning that people all over the world were voting on their new color, so I guess maybe there is no unique candy!
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 02:10 PM
  #16  
sightseer
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I have found that Red Vines licorice are a very popular American candy that have been a hit on my travels. You could buy a big tub of them from Costco for the visit.
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 03:36 PM
  #17  
Faina
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Somebody here advised to bring maps - well... growing up in former Soviet Union I know that geography here and there differs. A lot! And so is history.

Think of something they may use at school or share with friends. Calendars, books about USA, post cards -any pictures will be great. Coffee including instant is very expensive there. Candy - I'd say yes but make it only a small part of a gift - they are eaten, and nothing left.

Teachers love souveniers - maybe you can find something in gift stores?
 
Jun 20th, 2002, 05:10 PM
  #18  
barbara
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Do Romanians make coffee the way Americans do? I have a Slovakian friend who used to make it for me, but it was very strong and hard for me to drink. If I brought coffee, would regular ground coffee be the best to bring? Or would instant coffee be better? Do Romanians drink tea?

 
Jun 24th, 2002, 11:08 AM
  #19  
Nadia
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Hi Barbara,
I grow up in Romania and went to school there. Indeed, both teachers and professors have very low salaries in Romania. Thus, my suggestion: Go to Dollar general or Big Lots, or other similar stores in your area and see what they have: pens, books, or any other school supplies. On the other hand, if you want to be more personal, and you know this people, or at least have been in contact with them they will appreciate a nice blouse (women) etc. As for money…it’s hard to say….personally, I give them money all the time. This way they can get what they want. They know better than me what their needs are! See what you think.
I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Best,
Nadia
 
Jul 5th, 2002, 12:07 PM
  #20  
jen
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Hi Barbara, I wonder if you've left yet.
I put your question to a Romanian female friend (who happens to be a teacher). She said: books in English. Apparently they are very hard to get. Fiction, history, and especially books with beautiful photography, for instance of the Grand Canyon or of American cities.
For a present for the schools, she suggests an atlas (definite first choice), a big (laminated?) wall map, or, again, book in English. Also stickers, particularly the glitsy kind (holograms, etc)or with English words - kids love them but they are almost impossible to find.
Have a good trip!
 

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