At the beginning of the fall internship, I wrote a pen pal letter to Fangdi, a student we supported through Little Red Scarf, in China. There were only 4 interns back then, and we were asked to “adopt” a student from the Little Red Scarf program. We looked through their profiles to better understand their life and the conditions that they were living in. We each sent a pen pal letter to a child introducing ourselves near the end of October, 2011. However, I never got a reply and the letter eventually left my mind. But to my delight the first day we started the summer internship,
I received a reply from her! It said:
"Dear Isabel Auyeung,
I’m glad to hear from you. I’m fine and living a happy life. I really appreciate what you have done for me. Thank you for caring about my life and my studies. Seeing your letter, I know you were born on April 12 of 1995; I was born on
April 8 of 1996. I will celebrate your birthday at my home. I miss you very much. How have you been recently? I know you love singing and dancing just like me. Please maintain your hobbies. I sing lots of songs in Drum Team, and I will continue to do so. The scenery in our hometown is very beautiful, you’re welcome to come to our hometown with your friends when you have time. I am looking forward hearing from you. I will show my classmates that I have an American pal.
Your Chinese pal,
I was so excited to finally get a letter back from her, and it was the perfect welcome-back gift. Suddenly, all the work that I did earlier this year to help support her became so much more significant. She isn’t just a name anymore, but a person. She has hobbies, a birthday, friends, and family just like I do. She seems like a very sweet person and it’s encouraging for me get the affirmation that I have made a personal impact on another individual. I will reply to her soon and I hope we can keep up the communication and become good friends. Maybe someday I will be able to visit her hometown and finally be able to meet her in person.
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