A Lifetime Hobby
When I was about 12, our English teacher at school suggested we'd got a penpal to practise the language. I loved the idea and got the address of a girl from Australia, my dream land. That's how it all began... over 20 years later, I'm still letter-writing! I found out about more penpal organizations and often applied for new addresses through the years. There used to be a time when I had tens of penpals from all over the world, and was very busy writing and receiving letters. It was great fun, and I especially loved to send and get postcards, clippings, bookmarks and such stuff along with the letters. These days, I only have about 10 regular penpals, and about 10 more who write less regularly. Most of them have grown to be my good friends, and I have met a few in person (a great experience indeed!). We still exchange handwritten letters, cards, photos and souvenirs, too! Penpalling has always been my favourite hobby, and I've grown to learn a lot through it: foreign cultures and lifestyles, the importance of respecting them above all, friendship even at a distance, being curious and open-minded. Old-fashioned as it might be, but still meaningful and interesting.