Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Gift from Tomoko

Today Tomoko is heading off to school for a year of intensive English study. She'll be back in Louisville to stay with my mom during school breaks, and I'm really interested in talking with her as she learns more and more English.

Last night she came over to my house to say goodbye and she brought a wedding present for K and me. She made tiny origami cranes (tsuru) for us and told us about them. She explained (in English!) that cranes are a symbol of happiness, and they will bring us a happy marriage. K and I must sew the cranes into four columns, and then tie the threads from each column together into one knot. As we tie the knot (!), we should wish for happiness. Then we should hang the cranes in our house.

Tomoko's handmade gift is really wonderful. I love the thought she put into making this present and the time she spent folding each of those little cranes. On top of that, her explanation in English made me smile so much. She has come such a long way in one year. She used to come by my desk to talk at the Japanese high school where I taught, but she looked up each and every word in her electronic dictionary. Conversations took a long time! Since then, she has gained an amazing amount of confidence. She makes the English teacher in me so proud.

Thank you, Tomoko!

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