These are some things that I have received from various people since Monday.
My favorite, however, is a four-leaf clover that was given to me today by a second grader. I remember the childhood pursuit of such a prize. Today it came easily to me.
This afternoon I helped 6th year elementary school students address envelopes to foreigners who they met on their class trip to the Kansai region of Japan. In Kyoto, the students approached foreigners and then asked if they could take a picture together. They then asked them to write their address down on a piece of paper. It had become my job to de-code the sloppy handwriting from around the globe into legible letters and numbers that the students would then be able to copy themselves. Among the addresses from Switzerland, Canada, Germany, and England, there were a few from the US. One group showed me their address and I was stunned to see that it was from Pittsburgh. Shock set in as I read the street name. The woman whose picture had been taken by my students in Kyoto lives on Shady Ave, the street directly behind my own. The students who showed me this particular address held up the paper as if it were some sort of a golden ticket.
I hope the people who receive the photos in the mail cherish them and realize the incredibly kind gesture that these students are making. If nothing else, maybe they, like I, can feel that the world is that much smaller.