One thing that never ceases to impress me about having this website is how easily it shrinks the world. Readers find me (and in many cases, e-mail me) from all corners of the globe, and I’ve had the pleasure of learning about people, places, and businesses that I would have gone through life completely oblivious to in another era. The world has become not only flat, but more easily familiar than at any point in history.
Considering this, I probably shouldn’t have been as bewildered as I was to receive an envelope with “Royal Air” postmarks on it this week. Nevertheless, I wasn’t exactly expecting anything, so curiosity got the best of me.
After opening the envelope, curiosity turned to delight: it was a Christmas card from Jinga, a Brazilian company whose shoes I reviewed last month as part of my barefoot series.
In that post, I described how part of Jinga’s mission is to support one of Rio de Janeiro’s many favelas, projects that provide educational and social support to a portion of the city’s staggering population of impoverished children. The company’s Christmas cards are works of art made by children from the favela.
My card was made and signed by an 11-year-old girl named Fabiana. It was nice coincidence, as I happen to have an 11-year-old of my own.
The cards have folds and a flap that can be shaped into an ornament, so that’s exactly what I did. And now, alongside all the wonderful family memories on our tree, a young Brazilian girl has provided a welcome dose of holiday cheer:
Obrigado, Fabiana. Feliz Natal. And God’s peace and blessings to all of us.
Update: shortly after writing this post, I went to Jinga's Facebook page and found a link to the following video showing the favela kids making the ornaments. My girl Fabiana is shown at the :59 and 1:22 marks. Enjoy!