The other day I was reading on my bed, and my little sister came in and wanted to hang out with me (quite common). So I told her she should go get some books and read next to me. She responded that she didn't have any books. The next week, I showed her some books that I was using to learn Lao- books with fun pictures, and she really enjoyed going through them several times.
Another day, Kip was exploring my things in my room, and came across my floss. "What's this?" she asked. I showed her how I used it... and gave her some to use. After that- she would often come into my room to get some floss to try out :)
I decided that I wanted to give her a book as a little thank-you/goodbye gift. When I looked at the children's books available in Lao, there was one about teeth and eating candy and plaque and brushing your teeth! How perfect. I purchased it, had it wrapped in special blue paper, and presented it to her last night as we said goodbye. She was a bit shy to open it, and then giggled a lot when she unwrapped it. I asked her to read and said I would listen- and she was so excited and read almost the whole book to me! Now she has a book to read.
My host mother also presented me with some beautiful, colorful material from a northern province (where she's from) to make a traditional Lao "sinh" skirt! There are rich purple, orange, and green colors in the pattern. It's likely to be my favorite Lao skirt simply because of the special connection and fond memories it will bring me of my Lao family. My Lao mom has a skirt with the same pattern, but different colors.
I got great pictures of all this- but internet isn't strong enough to upload pics :( One day . . .