some of my very best friends live in places very far away from here, so far away you have to cross borders or oceans (or both) to get to them. mostly, this is a pretty bad deal. i haven't seen my very good friend sarah, for example, in more than a year, and since she lives in japan, we don't get to talk very often, either. and when we do talk, it's the end of my day and the beginning of hers, which is just weird--you learn to make it work, but you never really get used to the weirdness of nearly falling asleep while talking to someone who just started her morning work (in this case, teaching english to japanese kids).
but it's not an entirely bad deal. in addition to hearing some fascinating tidbits about japanese culture and japanese elementary school culture, i often get some pretty entertaining excerpts of english according to 5th graders in japan. and as an added bonus, sarah and i have been sending packages to each other in our respective locations (crossing two oceans, including three continents unless i've forgotten one) for the last three years. these two vibrant, wonderful traditions recently came together in a package wishing me a happy thanksgiving, christmas, and easter. included was the work of one young girl, in response to a cultural education project in which the students learned about the american custom of the new year's resolution, and then made their own. what will YOU improve this year?