Childview's teen columnist writes about writing to her sponsored child
I have an ongoing snail-mail correspondence with Chana, the teenaged girl in Mozambique
my family sponsors. The mail takes a long time between our homes but I feel I’m getting to know Chana better a little bit at a time. Chana and I are the same age but we speak different languages, so our letters have to be translated. A few months ago, we sent Chana a semi-large package. It was full of all sorts of little gifts and I included a letter. After we mailed it, we knew it would be a long time before we had a reply.
While we waited, I went on with my life. I went on an end-of- year camp trip with my school, I graduated middle school and was lucky enough to host the graduation party in my backyard, and I hung out with friends. Somewhere in the midst of all of that fun stuff, I received a reply. Chana was thankful. She even sent a photo of herself surrounded by all the gifts we sent! Chana told me a little about her life, which is centred around family, school, church and her chores. Chana lives with family members who welcomed her to their home after Chana’s parents died. Chana has experienced a lot of loss but her letters are always happy ones to read.
I wanted to write a reply right away but I also wanted to be careful. Obviously, we have very different lives. While I want to tell her about my life, I know I’ve been more fortunate than Chana in many ways. I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging. I want Chana to feel she can relate to me and that we’re friends. Because we are. We just have to wait a long time between conversations!
This article appears in the Winter 2014/2015 issue of Childview.