What is it? “It's a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world.”
You send a postcard to an unknown person anywhere in the world. After they receive it and register it, your name goes in the queue for a random person to send a postcard to you. At the beginning, you may send up to 5 postcards at a time.
I was skeptical at first, and wondered if problems could arise – after all, you have to put in your real name and mailing address. Also I was doing this to help my 7 year old daughter with a second grade geography project. I wasn’t going to put HER name in the system!
I chose to send 4 postcards, to Finland, Australia, Germany, and Norway. This included a mom of a 2 year old, a student studying in Cologne, a woman genetics engineer. All sounded like such great interesting people! As they registered my postcards, I was free to then send more. I sent a few more postcards.
Then, a few postcards trickled in. The first was a boring card from Finland. Then one from Taiwan. Then a card from Austria with a reproduction of a painting of a beautiful Austrian princess. A scene from an Irish market town, signed by a mom with 3 children the same age as mine. Then, one from an 8 year boy in Poland, signed up and helped with his English by a neighbor. Well, my children thought this was the greatest thing! Children just like them, sending postcards! That’s when my daughter insisted she wanted her own Postcrossing account.
Since then I have exchanged with at least 3 school groups involved in Postcrossing as a school project, and one home-schooled family also involved in teaching geography this way. I have also exchanged with high school and college students, home-bound people, retirees, and people who love postcards and stamps. In 500 days I have sent 244 postcards, and received 229. I have sent or received cards from 47 countries.
Yesterday the mail delivered my biggest haul of Postcrossing postcards yet – 6!
1. Germany: From a young woman in the tourist industry.
2. Brazil: From a 13 year old boy in an English Language program, sending cards and writing in English as part of an assignment to improve his English. His card was a great photo of Rio de Janeiro.
3. Czech Republic: a man close to my age, very active in Postcrossing, from a small village near Pilsen, who sent a card of a beautiful rushing stream in a Czech nature preserve.
4. Thailand: Postcard of an elephant being trained to paint (!) from Ting.
5. Portugal: From Ana, close to my age and mom of 3 children.
6. Netherlands: from a high school student who loves music and plays the oboe.
Why do I write this entry today? Well, because I received 6 postcards in the mail… but also because I heard from A Postcard a Day that she drew my name in Postcrossing! How unusual is that? It is such a small world.