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Yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, one of the security guards at the front of the kindergarten walked into my classroom right before a lesson to hand-deliver a notice from the post office stating that a package had arrived for “Karie Gwynn!” I was so ecstatic that I almost forgot my lesson plans. I paraded around the room shouting, “I got a package! I got a package! A package for meeee!!!” and dangling the notice in front of my kids’ faces. Despite my gloating, the kids were excited for me too and starting shouting and parading with me. I have to mention that this was no ordinary lesson either. It was an open class, which means that all of the other English teachers and assistant teachers were in the room as well to critique my teaching skills. And there were two camera men who had been hired to film the class as potential material for a promotional video. The lighting equipment made the moment even more glorious.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about the open class in another post. Let’s get back to the package…

After my last class of the day, I biked (yes, I can do that now! My knee is getting better every day!) over to the post office and picked it up, lickedy-split. I biked back to the school, marched up to the English office, announced in a very loud voice that I had returned with a box and was going to open it without delay, and then did just that.

“Wait, no,” I thought, “I should take a picture first.” So I took a picture and then opened it. The box was heavy and beat-up from the journey across the States and the Pacific. It was from Nikki who is one of the most fabulous beings in the universe and she just so happens to live on Earth in 3-D, AND she just so happens to be my friend. You can see that I blurred out the last names and addresses of sender and receiver for obvious reasons…so just an FYI: The box didn’t come like that.

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Let’s see what’s inside…

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Whahhhhhh…..

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National Geographic!!!

Before I opened the package, I looked at it for a second and thought to myself, If I know Nikki–and I do–then this box is filled with glitter…And it was! Can you see the purple sheen on the magazine?

Also, check it out–this issue is from 1975!

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I got not one, but FOUR letters from Nikki and friends Campbell, Rob, and Lucas! Nikki wrote hers while at work. She’s a waitress.

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When I opened Campbell’s letter, I was hit in the face with a fragrance that I know so well, yet couldn’t pinpoint…until I got to part in the letter where he tells me: Rob’s cologne. Nice touch, Campbell.

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Rob’s letter was folded around a temporary tattoo that he’s been saving for ages. Now it’s mine! Maybe I’ll wear it to Hong Kong this weekend.

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Oh man, I feel so loved. I actually shed a tear. I believe it dropped on Lucas’s letter.

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Nikki asked me what treats I missed from home and the only thing I could think of was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Of course, there were some in the package. I ate them immediately. (Also, notice what the Reese’s were wrapped in: mummified limbs!)

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Proof of my enjoyment (aka a picture of me stuffing my face.)

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Also, TWO jars of peanut butter!!!

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The rest of the box was packed full of ripped-out magazine pages. I didn’t get it at first, but I thought it was kind of mysterious and half-expected them to be clues to a puzzle or riddle that lay at the bottom of the box. I took the first ten out one-by-one and laid them carefully on my desk. After a bit I finally realized that they were just the stuffing. The fanciest stuffing I’ve ever seen!

Look! Planets, preserved corpses, coral reefs…I might just stick them on my wall.

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Getting this package made me homesick in a new way. Before, I was sick for the comfort of familiarity. Now I’m sick for people and the specific bonds that I shared with individuals in friendship. I’m sick for the the creative minds, the humorous minds that I used to be surrounded with. I’m sick for the homes that we shared, and I say “we” because it was hard to tell sometimes who paid rent where. My life is so completely exciting right now and I appreciate the experiences I have every day, but sometimes, I think I’d prefer to sit on Rob’s/Lucas’s/Campbell’s (and formerly many other friends’) porch where the dream-catchers hang and talk about what pool we should go to. It stinks not being in college anymore.

Anyway, THANK YOU Nikki and Rob and Lucas and Campbell. Expect a package from me soon!

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