When I first signed up for a pen pal from Uganda, I didn’t know what I was signing up for. What would I ask her? Would we have much in common? My pen pal’s name is Jane. I first got her letter and was happy she seemed so friendly and open, eager to know someone she was so far away from. I responded within a day of her response, hoping I could learn more about her. Letters were exchanged between us from October to November. I was happy we were able to communicate despite our busy schedules. We talked about everything from our families to our school schedules. We even discover we were both born in October. Sadly, our realities were different. She asked me how I celebrated my birthday and I told her with lots of friends and family. Jane told me that her mother had forgotten her birthday, but she said it okay because she knew her mom loved her, but was just busy with working to support her. After she said that, I felt so lucky and undoubtedly privileged to live in New York with a family who was allowed to put down work long enough to celebrate with me.
So, it has only been two months since I’ve known Jane, but I feel like I’ve been able to bond with her. I am still waiting for her letter, but I know she has so much more to deal with than I do. I am happy that I got this opportunity to know her. Even though we are so far from each other, it proves connecting with people doesn’t need to be as complicated as it seems.