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The long reach of social media


Earlier this week, I received this amazing e-mail right out of the blue...

Dear Doug,

My name is Giulia _____ and I just come back home from my holidays. I've been in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

During my vacation in cambodia, to be more precise in Siem Reap, I met a really kind taxi driver called Vong Hoy. He spoke english and he told me how he was tryng to improve his life to garantee a better life to his wife and daughters.

One night I was in my hotel and browsing on internet I've typed his name (the name I read on the taxi during the days I was there: Vong Hoy) and I found your blog and your article.

I asked to the receptionist to print your article, and the day I left Siem Reap I gave it to Hoy.
He was so happy and grateful that when I was leaving I turn back my head and he was sitting in his car reading the article about him and his country. He remembers you and he told me that before the taxi he drove the tuc tuc and the motorbike.

I don't know if you care about him, but from your article I suppose that he was a good 'friend' in Siem Reap, I also hope that you will appreciate the fact that he is ok.

I don't wont to waste your time. Best regards,

Five years ago and 8,000 miles away. And one e-mail closes the gap.

How do we ever justify not giving students practice and skills in using the social media that shrinks our world, positively connects people, and begins conversations that lead to inter-cultural understandings. 

Still blocking Facebook in your school?


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Reader Comments (5)

Doug, what an absolutely beautiful story. Wishing you well as you start in your new district.

August 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDebra Gottsleben

LOVE this story.

I must say, the very first paragraph sounds a bit like one of those "deposit $10,000 in my bank account" emails. I'm glad you stayed with it and discovered the wonderful origin.

August 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSara Carter

Thanks, Deb. I was looking for a new challenge - and I think I found it!


Thanks, Sara. My impression was the same - but the author wasn't asking for money or a reply. I thought it was sweet she wrote.


August 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this wonderful "humans can be pretty awesome sometimes" story!

September 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia Duell

Hi Alicia,

Yes they can be. And it is a wonder how small the world really is.


September 6, 2014 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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