I'd give her some booze to cope with the job, but I don't want to scare her too soon.
December 14, 2009 3:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm making a "Welcome" gift basket for our new live-in nanny, in Turkey. What should I include?

I'm the current, departing nanny for a family in Istanbul, and I'm making preparations for our new nanny who arrives in a month. I want to make a gift basket for her, but I'm lost on ideas. I will be staying a few weeks after she arrives to help her transition, but I still want something nice for her when she arrives.

She's 20, pretty "hip", and from the southern States. Currently a nursing student, taking time off school for this job. I only know her from a dozen or so emails exchanged, plus her Facebook profile, so I'm not really sure of her specific interests.
I don't think typical American stuff would be right, as she won't be missing them yet. So far I'm including small sized (but nice/luxury) toiletries, a nicely wrapped box of lokum ("turkish delight"), a loaded public transit card (Akbil), a Starbucks gift card, and local maps and phone numbers. The family will be giving her a cell phone, and she'll use the house number for long distance calls, so she doesn't need a phone card.

I'm seriously stuck for ideas. If you were arriving for 18+ months in a foreign country (I don't think she's traveled too much internationally, aside from Caribbean cruises), what would you want?

Thanks in advance!
posted by hasna to Human Relations (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
The stuff you have listed is nice, but I actually would include some "uniquely American" treats. She won't miss them right as soon as she gets there, but over time she may want something to remind her of home (maybe not necessarily from the southern US, but things that are common in here in the states). You could also add a Lonely Planet Guide to Turkey. Everything else sounds great!

Good luck and Happy Gifting!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 3:28 PM on December 14, 2009


If you can leave her some sort of letter with helpful information, that would probably be well received. And by helpful information I mean things about local spots that she can go to when she's not nannying, facts that might be helpful about the kids/family, etc. Stuff that she'll learn on her own eventually but she might find helpful to know now.
posted by lucy.jakobs at 3:32 PM on December 14, 2009


Advil (or the Turkish equivalent) and things to help her relax at the end of the day. Maybe some herbal tea and a nice mug.

A notebook with all the little quirks that the kids have. I know you'll be telling her, but if they are written down that might help. How to get to the park, which kids don't like what foods, names of the stuffed animals, what you do to keep the kids happy in the waiting room at the Dr.'s office, that kind of thing. Especially stuff that might not come up during her training. All your little 'hacks' that you use to keep the kids happy. If you start taking notes now I'm sure you'll have tons to tell her.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:39 PM on December 14, 2009


lucy.jakobs: "If you can leave her some sort of letter with helpful information, that would probably be well received. And by helpful information I mean things about local spots that she can go to when she's not nannying, facts that might be helpful about the kids/family, etc. Stuff that she'll learn on her own eventually but she might find helpful to know now."

Yes! Also any household hacks...if there is anything weird with the alarm system, television, etc.

You are so thoughtful!
posted by radioamy at 4:43 PM on December 14, 2009


i think what you have is plenty. during the couple weeks you are going to spend together, you will be transferring important knowledge, as rightly suggested by lucy.jakobs and TooFewShoes, which is the best thing you can do for her. as a huge favor, you may want to introduce her to the friends you've made.
posted by eebs at 4:49 PM on December 14, 2009


From Ms. Vegetable:

An explanation of how public transit works, as it's worked differently everywhere I've been. If laundry is outside the home, how that works. If she needs a bank, how that works. Any bookstores with English books? Where those are. Those local maps you're giving her? Explanations of what/where things on those maps are. How does the postal system work? How does she get to the doctor if she needs one?

The sort of stuff that you now know but didn't when you got there. :-)
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:54 PM on December 14, 2009


My aunt who lives in Turkey always requests that we send her peanut butter because she can't find it there.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:15 PM on December 14, 2009


i nth leaving 'hacks' for the kids, house... and parents. LOL

and if i can say so, you are the best for doing this. i wish when i had started my first nanny job that the outgoing nanny would've been this thoughtful.
posted by mittenbex at 6:26 PM on December 14, 2009


You are pretty damn cool for doing this.

If you annotate that local map and phone numbers with real qualitative info ("the food here is great", "best coffee I found", "don't go here after dark") you'll be doing a great service.

Me being me, I'd also leave some little puzzles, like coded messages she has to figure out, or that I'd e-mail her the key to later. I might even leave them in odd places.
posted by rokusan at 5:42 AM on December 15, 2009


thank you all so much for the suggestions! The girl we hired ended up ditching on us at the last minute (...trying hard to not be angry!!) but these tips will be great for whoever we end up finding to replace her.

Thanks again!
(no best answer cause i liked them all! Rokusan: that's a fantastic idea!)
posted by hasna at 9:06 AM on January 24, 2010


« Older Help me find the right dress!   |   I Am Not A Lawyer... Yet. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.