Email from Natalie in Sri Lanka

Hey guys!

Greetings from sunny Sri Lanka! I have a quick story to share. I had wanted to send this to our whole class but I couldn’t find everyone’s emails in one spot, so I chose those of you who I thought would be most interested by this (I’ll keep it short and sweet):
I was in Kandy last weekend walking around the small indoor market/bazaar that some of you might remember and I happened upon a nice batik shop. Walking up to 2011it, I thought of our batik friend CJ who some of us met in January 2011 at his shop in the hills of Kandy. He’s the guy who made our beautiful stoles we wore on graduation! He also made the batik that hangs on Dr. Arcaro’s wall. Anyway, I walked into this shop and there was CJ! He has short hair now, but I recognized him in
an instant. Turns out he has moved his father’s business to this prime store spot in the center of Kandy (his business is doing very well!) He immediately went to a shelf and held up one of our Periclean stoles!! He proudly displays it to customers, and has even been asked to make similar stoles for class groups from Italy and Israel. I immediately put it on and we took a photo together (attached) because I knew I’d have to share this moment with the class. After catching up, CJ also showed me a photo album that has photos of our class at LEAF and even one of Katie and a few others with Leo at graduation, wearing the stoles! (CJ didn’t know that the man in the photo with his batik-donning friends was Elon’s president, and was very pleased when I told him so!)
It was amazing to run into CJ, one of our Periclean partners, and be reminded in such a powerful way of the small ways our class had an impact here and was so impacted in return. CJ is clearly so proud of the art he was able to provide our class, and I know we were all proud to wear those beautiful stoles when we graduated. For me, running into him was a humbling personal moment, as I was reminded that I would not be living in Sri Lanka on this Fulbright if not for Periclean and our great class and the connections we made in this country that resonated so deeply. It’s amazing how small the world this, how interconnected things are, huh?
natalieJPGJust wanted to share that with you guys. I thought a lot about Periclean that afternoon, and about how you all are doing — I hope you are happy and well! If any of you happen to be in this part of the world between now and July, you have a place to stay and a friend to adventure with.
Periclean love,
P.S. Feel free to pass this on to other members of our class!
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