Mandy Sun was a student in several of my high school classes and I was her academic advisor in her senior year. Here I am with her on her graduation day at International Christian School in Hong Kong in 2011. Mandy will be a second year student at Syracuse University in New York this fall.
About a month ago, there was a letter in my e-mail inbox that I almost deleted. It was from a place called Visakhapatnam, in the province of Andhra Pradesh, in India. I’d never been there and I thought it was one of those pleas for money one sometimes receives from foreign countries. Why would a woman in India be writing to me in Canada? I took a chance and opened it. The story the letter writer named Krishna told had so many details that rang true. I knew her letter couldn’t be a hoax. She said she was a clerk in a store. A former student of mine, by the name of Mandy Sun, had been shopping there, and had left her wallet behind. Although the wallet had her Hong Kong identity card and her Syracuse University card in it, Krishna had been unable to make contact with Mandy.
However after googling Mandy’s name; Krishna found a story I had written on my blog Hong Kong Journal. Krishna read a blog post I had written about Mandy called Art Extraordinaire . I had visited the Advanced Placement art show at International Christian School and was so impressed with Mandy’s work I decided to write about it. There was contact information on my blog with my e-mail address. So the clerk in the store in India decided to write to me and see if I could put her in touch with Mandy. I forwarded the e-mail to Mandy through Facebook. She was very happy to hear that her wallet had been found. Her response letter started with THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It turns out Mandy had been on a service trip to India with her church and had left her wallet in the store when she stopped for a few supplies and souvenirs.
The internet has made it so easy for people all over the globe to connect with one another. There are questions about whether that instant, personal and far reaching kind of communication will have long-term positive or negative effects for society but this story is definitely one of the happy ones. It’s a small world!
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