Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Internet Correspondence Lights Up a Home Fire

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Internet Correspondence Lights Up a Home Fire

Article excerpt

LESLIE DAVIS was studying different countries in her seventh-grade class. She wanted to bring two things from home. They were both from Ireland.

But her mean old mom said no.

Jacque Lynn wouldn't let Leslie haul her best Waterford vases to St. Pius V school on the south side.

"Those vases definitely weren't going to school," Jacque Lynn said.

"We're from Ireland," Leslie said, "why don't we have anything from there?"

"Yes, we're from Ireland about 225 years ago," Jacque said. "We have other ancestors that came over from Holland about 325 years ago, but I don't have anything from that Old Country, either.

"Leslie truly didn't understand why. She was lying on the sofa complaining. I was sitting at the computer playing on the Internet. I think I was trying to pull up a file my mom e-mailed me.

"Anyway, I told Leslie, `Why not write a letter about your homework on the e-mail? You can ask people to send you postcards or e-mail messages from their countries.' "

A computer beat crystal any day.

Leslie composed an irresistible letter. It said: "I was wondering if anyone out there in the whole wide world would like to send me a picture postcard from your country. I would take it to my school class and show everyone. If you would rather not send me a postcard, would you e-mail me a message about where you live?

"PS: This is a little about where I live. In St. Louis we have a large monument called the Arch. We have a free and humongous Zoo and it has a baby elephant named Raja . . . I live in the city. I like to ride bikes, go to the park, Rollerblade up and down my street and hang out at the mall. Thank you for your time."

People from Finland to Turkey mailed Leslie postcards. She also got more than 50 e-mail messages. Plus one letter warning her "it isn't wise to post your e-mail and home address."

Leslie's mom posted the messages on foreign culture and travel news groups. Leslie's favorite TV show is "The X-Files," so she posted one on that group, too.

An "X-Files" fan in Japan replied:

"Hello! I'm a Japanese woman and I read your message saying that you want postcards from the world. So I'll send it to you.

"I live in Tokyo, the capital city of Japan. Almost 12,000,000 people live here. In the center of Tokyo there are a lot of office buildings and many business men and women go to work, almost all by trains. I'm one of these people, but imagine how crowded they are!!

"By the way, I'm also an `X-Files' fan. Here we can only watch a part of the series in video, because it isn't aired on TV yet. So I only know 14 episodes and I wish I could watch more and more and more!"

Kristy and Emma, two grade-schoolers in New South Wales, wrote about their home.

"It is very beautiful in an Australian way . . . lots of gum trees and sparse, dry landscapes."

Kristy and Emma live by a saltwater lake with pelicans. …

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