A friend of mine is a historian at Monticello, and she suggested that I take seeds. She armed me with large quantities of seed packets, which included marigolds, Love-in-the-mist, Pink-spiked Celosia, Scarlet-runner Bean, Texas Bird Pepper and Bath Cos Lettuce......
These were light, easy to carry, and they came with the perfect story: President Obama had presented Pope Francis with a chest full of Monticello seeds when he visited the US, so the very seeds I was handing out were also being grown in the Vatican!
I sorted the letters into ones that could be independent, and others that needed me: the independent ones had legible student email addresses. i gave 40 of them to an 8th grade English teacher at Makati Science High School in Manila. She was thrilled. She said, "My students were saying they wanted American students to come to our school, not just teachers, so you have brought them students with these letters. They will be so delighted with the gift you have given them!"
The others I gave out to Obed's 10th grade super students at Leyte National High School. The students took great delight in reading the letters, and responding to them. I have brought back over 100 letters, many of them including small gifts. My first job this school year will be to distribute these international missives.