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Blog > Postcrossing Spotlight: maleko from Hawaii!

Mark (aka maleko) hails from Hawaii (USA). He has been gracefully hosting the Random Acts of Smileness thread on the forum for the past few years, and has a special toy voyager of his own… Come meet them both on this spotlight interview! 😊

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

In my twenties I moved around a lot, so I got into the habit of sending postcards to friends as a quick and casual way of keeping in touch. I’ve kept it up ever since. I’ve always been interested in snail mail and pens, paper, and office supplies in general. One day I read about Postcrossing on Missive Maven’s blog, and wandered over to this site and signed up. Over four years and 400 postcards later, I’m still very glad I came across that blog post. The great thing is, sometime after joining I actually drew Missive Maven’s name for an official card, and was able to thank her for turning me on to this wonderful community. She sent me a hurray message saying how tickled she was to find out that she had introduced me to Postcrossing. We both enjoyed that Postcrossing coincidence.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Nothing terribly interesting. I like to read (mostly fiction and biographies) and write. For some reason the ordinary physical act of writing with pen and paper gives me a kind of pleasure no laptop keyboard can bring. I’ve also kept a diary since I was a child. It has become a form of self-help for me: often I don’t know what I am thinking until I’ve written it down. And once in a great while I’ll look over a few diary entries from decades ago and remember the person I was then.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
maleko

This is my desk where I write postcards. The letterbox holds the cards I’ve recently received.

postcards

Here is the box where I keep my supply of postcards to send.

mailbox

This is the old green mailbox where I normally leave my cards for my mail carrier, Raymond, to pick up.

post office

This is my neighborhood post office.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

Clearly it’s not possible to choose a favorite card. Recently, though, I learned about interactive postcards from one of Ana’s posts on this blog, and discovered that I really liked them. Here are two that have a special place on my bookshelf: a 3-D stereoscope-type card that I received as a gift from Vladyslav1998, and a construction project that was an official card from LittlePingui.

interactive cards

I also love the card below, from dallesandro, because it’s all about inclusiveness and honoring our differences. Incidentally, it’s the only card I’ve ever received that shows someone in a wheelchair, which means something to me because I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was a teenager.

10ac10f20426a42ba6034034f3216609
But what really makes a card special for me is the open friendliness, kindness, or courage that comes through the message on the back. In my profile, I ask people to tell me about the things that are good and true and authentic in their lives, and I cannot count the times I’ve been uplifted by the things they share.
What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

It’s always great to find a postcard or two lying there when I open the mailbox, but I think sending cards is my favorite part of this hobby. It feels creative, relaxing, and even meditative: to sit at my desk and search for the right card for the right person, choose some interesting stamps, and write a short, simple message to someone far away. Such a small act can redeem the toughest day for me, and hopefully it has a similar effect on the person who receives the card. It can be a quiet blessing for two lives.

Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?

About a year after joining Postcrossing, I received CU-1397, a postcard from a university professor in Cuba. This was very exciting for me, before the beginning of more normalized relations between Cuba and the U.S., and it was an eloquent reminder of what Postcrossing could be.

Have you met any other members in real life?

I’ve enjoyed such warm pen-friendships through Postcrossing that I almost feel as if I’ve met many other postcrossers in person. But in reality I only recently met a few at a meetup here in Honolulu organized by oneup92. It was a small gathering, but we had fun getting acquainted over a meal and signing a huge stack of cards.

honolulu meetup

A few years ago my wonderful Postcrossing friend mondkind sent me a traveling toy bear that she’d made for me. Kaipo the bear has met many more Postcrossers than I have, because he has dual citizenship, spending the autumn and winter months in Hamburg, Germany, and the spring and summer here in Hawaii.

3statekaipo

I think he might be the only bear who has attended both the huge Bielefeld International Postcrossing Meeting hosted by nordbaer and the Honolulu meetup!

What are you are passionate about?

Someone tried to tell me recently that emphasizing the need for education was outdated and “old-school, ” that there are quicker and easier ways to “get ahead” in life these days. Yeah, right. I believe in both formal education and independent lifelong learning. I think we are put on this earth to learn something from, and contribute something to, each other, and disrespecting that process is somehow missing the point of the whole experience.

For the past seven years I’ve volunteered a few hours each week at a middle school, where I tutor students who are newly arrived from other countries and whose first language is not English. These kids are amazing: so motivated and filled with enthusiasm, so helpful toward each other, and so appreciative of the help they receive from others. I also admire their resilience, how gracefully they are able to adapt to the major changes in their lives. Honestly, I learn more from them than I am able to teach, and they inspire me with great hope for the future.

I also host the Random Acts of Smileness Round Robin on the Postcrossing Forum. I inherited this round robin a couple of years ago from lapoussine35. Forum members sign up there to nominate friends to receive cards from other group members, and to send cards to the other group members’ nominees. It’s not about receiving cards for yourself; instead, you’re spreading the good cheer to others. I’m constantly encouraged by the thoughtfulness and generosity of the “RAS agents” who participate. One of them once told me I have the best job on the internet, and there are moments when I think she may be right!

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54 comments so far

Nordbaer, Germany
Glad to see you here at the place to which you belong.
Hugs to you, Mark!
:-)))
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mounten, Italy
What a lovely story! Keep on going Ciao from Italy!
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geminiscp, Portugal
Nice interview, lovely pictures! :)
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Sanni87, Germany
So nice to see you and read about you and your life :)
Take care!
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ipuenktchen, Iran
hi, dear maleko, I learned about you via dear mondkind and others from northern germany, and got really thrilled when I had the great chance finally this 7th bielefeld meeting, when I reached to take part of!!!!!!!!!! and thrilled about what?? when I met not only about 60 participiants, but also dear KAIPO!!!!!!!!!!!! and got honoured to take some photos, together with my traveltoy-gang!!!! postcrossing is never-ending fun and joy!!!!!!!!!!!! very warm regards from IR!! yours, ipuenktchen
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mondkind, Germany
Love ,Love,Love
There is nothing more to say
What a wonderful interview
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MacKittens, Germany
Wow! What a perfect spotlight. I enjoyed reading it so much. Thank you for sharing this with us !
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Nordbaer, Germany
...and I envy this plenty of space which you have on your desk... :o
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ennasu, Germany
I am new to postcrossing, so I enjoyed the insight of an experienced member. I like choosing, writing and sending a card the most, too. Oh, and I envy you for all these lovely wooden boxes, the gorgeous table and that you have such easy acces to things behind you, Mark. I now think about if I can arrange my desk in a similar way. It will never look that regal because it is from Ikea, but that doesn't matter. I will look into your RAS project, too. Best wishes Susanne
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Sophie54, Netherlands
I met you in the Ras RR and I thought you are such a beautiful kind person this interview just confirmes that.
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JetteLise, Netherlands
Dear Mark , Love to see you sitting at your desk :) . This is the place where you use your embossing stamp ;) , so " really dear Mark " ! . A wonderful blog , " given " by a wonderful Postcrossing Friend ♥ !
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fisherman, Ireland
Well done Mark nicely written Spotlight - Keep up the good work
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Prinzmucki, Germany
I Think thats Postcrosssing !
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sinta, Indonesia
Dear Mark! You're the best Postcrosser I've met so far! Proud to be your friend! Hugs from far away Indonesia ;)
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sacdalton, United States of America
Great post! thanks so much for sharing. Lisa in California
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mingshu, Finland
what a great interview :) so nice to see you in spotlight ! i also remember you from the ras rr :)
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SeanPatrick, United States of America
Great stuff !
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Eels, China
Dear Mark,How great to read more about you! Wonderful spotlight! The RAS RR is one of the best RRs I ever joined,life is full of surprising,and one of them is I joined that RR to 'know' you,you're truly a very nice person! :)
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Smoky1972, Germany
Dear Kaipo,

it is great to read about you and your Dad and it was wonderful to see you again in Bielefeld this year. I hope to read from both of you soon (Mum does so, too) and I'm looking forward to the day there will be a keyboard, which isn't to small for my paws.

Beary hugs for both of you.

Yours,
Flocke ♥
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R_PostX, United States of America
Lovely. You are the spirit of Postcrossing, maleko. ♥
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Goyesca, Germany
So nice to see you here, wonderful interview, dear maleko!
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Flippie, Canada
Hi Maleko post-crosser, I love your interview and nice pictures. You're an inspiration for the rest of us post-crosses.
Thank you, Anneke
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maleko, United States of America
Thank you, everyone, for your very kind comments and greetings!
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Miss-Cynical, Germany
Oh wow, what a great interview! So nice to read about you, Mark! You're such a wonderful & special person! Thanks for hosting the fabulous RAS-RR! Take care!
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jm1122, United States of America
I think this might be my favorite Postcrossing blog post!
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magenta0810, Japan
Dear Mark, what a great interview! So nice to read about you here :)
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Telopea, Australia
This sure is my most favourite Blog post. Thank you dear Mark for letting us have a peek behind the scene.
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LadyP1964, Germany
Great interview..... wow, how do you keep your desk so tidy and your box of cards to send so small. I should take lessons from you!!
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loving6thgrade, United States of America
Dear Mark, What a wonderful blog. As a recently retired teacher, I came upon Postcrossing far too late in my teaching career. One of my teaching goals was to create lifetime lovers of learning. Through Postcrossing I continue to learn about new places, customs, and my new favorite, art. Your message is an inspiration, and it shows what a wonderful Ambassadorship Postcrossing can be in these troubled times.
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Sabina37, Bosnia and Herzegovina
I 'met' so many wonderful people in this project, both on official page, and on forum. You are certainly one of them, I really enjoyed reading this interview! Wish you many happy years, and many beautiful postcards.
Greetings from Bosnia-Herzegovina
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kernfrucht1953, Germany
Hello from Rostock, Germany
Julia and Rainer
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clouisesz, United States of America
Your interview only confirmed my thoughts that you must be a kind, caring, and loving person. Such a lovely interview. Thank you for hosting RAS and giving other people a chance to share smiles.
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pucky, Netherlands
What an beautiful interview, Mark! I love to hear about your thoughts, ideas and getting along with postcrossing!
Maybe one time one of us will send a card to the other!
Thank you for letting us read about you.
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Spryte808, United States of America
It was lovely to meet you at the Honolulu post crossing meet up!!! I had wondered if i was ever going to find you somewhere or somehow, and by chance I happened to see the name maleko on the home page of Postcrossing, and remembered! Hey that's Mark from Honolulu.. It was a Honor to meet you. Keep in touch please!!! I am thrilled to be part of your celebrity status in a way! (grin!)
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Chaallo, Netherlands
Wooow nice to read youre story Mark, beautiful to read youre thoughts and how you came in contact with Postcrossing. Nice place (youre desk) to write youre postcards and keep them in de wonderful box. I still haven't found a place where or how to keep my cards. I dont have many yet, (around 80 cards received) I was a couple of months inactive unfortunatly. Sorry for my English my grammatica isnt also ways that good in English. Maybe we meet sometime on Postcrossing and write each other a nice card. Happy Postcrossing! Greetings Chantal from The Netherlands
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Umami, United States of America
Aloha Mark, Glad to read about you here and find a fellow Hawaiian postcrosser. I give you kudos for all the hard work and dedication you offer to your community and abroad. Cheers, from Pahoa, on the Big Island.
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turtles, Germany
Thank you Ana, for this great spotlight. And thank you Maleko, for being a postcrosser. Your postcards bring always a lot of hawaiian sunshine to rainy north Germany ♥ ♥ ♥
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bloomcloud, Korea (South)
This was a very good read. Reading this brought a smile to my face. Thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us! Warm greetings from Korea.
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millaporo, Finland
Thank you for sharing! Greetings from Finland and take care! :)
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caltowie, Australia
This is the first time I've read a blog post. I so enjoyed meeting you. I will now visit the blog section too. Loved the photos
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rasma, Turkey
Hello wonderful post
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Mopothoper, United States of America
Mark,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful Postcrossing story & photos. Your kind energy & spirit reminds me of my parents who were both born and raised in Hawaii. For this reason, your story brought a special warmth to my heart. Postcrossing, especially when I receive one of those postcards that make me stop and read it many times & feel & touch the card like it had life itself, reminds me that wonderful energy & spirit is found all throughout the world. :)
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Joseroos, Netherlands
Very nice to read this
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Ann_S, United Kingdom
Hi Mark

I'm very, very new to post crossing so it's lovely to 'meet' you :-)

Thank you for sharing your story.

Hugs
Ann (UK)
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Tranchile, Guernsey
Enjoyed your story very much
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islander61, Bahamas
Hello from someone who also lives on an island chain where tourism is big business. Enjoyed reading your story and seeing your photos. Thanks!
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CLK2612, Canada
What a positive interview and the photos were very interesting (you are fortunate to still have house-based mail pickup, our national post is contemplating even dropping house-side deliveries to save money). It was a good boost for me to see your beautiful state as I await the snow that's forecast here for southern Ontario today! All the best and take care from Canada!
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Anactf, Portugal
It gave me great pleasure to read your interview. Thank you!
Best wishes!
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PilotOne, Portugal
Hi Mark
Nice interview!
We have already exchanged some 'Hangman' cards!
Take care.
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lilani, United States of America
What a beautiful story, thank you!
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mounten, Italy
Thank you for this lovely story, best regards from Italy!
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Braam, Australia
A wonderful interview, thank you! I am a retired Music teacher in high schools, & I can agree with you, Mark - you learn so much more from the kids, than what you are trying to teach them. Good luck with all your projects!
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DJGuus, Netherlands
Awesome! :D
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Nordbaer, Germany
I still want to have your desk.
my treassssure...
;)
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