Meet Bibi (Grandmother) and Babu (Grandfather), Addie’s new favorite toys.  We actually bought them in order to give to supporters in the States, but Addie was so taken with them that we couldn’t resist giving them to her instead.  I was so surprised by how much she connects with these little toys.

They are the first things to come out of the toy basket and the last to return.  If they “eat” ugi (her rice porrige), then she eats ugi.  I think she likes them because they look like the grandmothers and grandfathers with whom she interacts with every day.  They are symbols of the real, grown-ups whom she recognizes and loves.

As I was doing some Christmas shopping online a few days ago, it struck me that lots of the kid’s toys out there might not register with my kid like they would to an American.  How often (if ever) has Addie seen a red barn, play food in cans, a house that looks like a doll house, or a white baby (doll)?  As a person who is bi-cultural, I can read these symbols (toys) from both worlds, but my daughter, Addie, even at only one year-old is growing up in this one culture that I’ve created in my house which is an amalgam of Tanzania and the States.

Hmmm, what to do?  I’ve started dreaming up a line of new missionary-kid toys.  Different houses from different continents and multi-cultural doll clothes with matching luggage for the airplane.  🙂