While in Kenya recently, I received the pen pal letter responses that the students in America had sent in April. The students at the Elbokoch primary school in Northern Kenya were thrilled to get the letters from the American children, and equally happy to write back.

I truly hope that this type of continued correspondence will enlighten minds both in America and Kenya to each other’s similarities and differences, while ultimately opening their minds to the greater world at large.

Some the the children’s immediate similarities was their love of football/soccer, their families, animals (horses and dogs in America, cows and goats in Kenya), art,dancing, and going to school.

The differences are best summarized by the children themselves :

“I love ugali and meat. I do not know corn.” from Nachi Korie ( Kenya)

“My favorite kind of wild animal is a girrafe. I live all the way across the world from you.” from Rebecca ( America)

“I am happy to hear from you. I want to teach you Kiswahili language. Jambo – How are you. Kwaheri – Bye. Pangesi – Thanks. from Koriye Nyemeto ( Kenya)

“I am a boy too. I am 9 also. I like Legos. Legos are things that you can build with. What do you play with?” from Logan ( America)

” I am happy to read your letter. I am happy today. I do not have birthday.” from Dorale Korie ( Kenya)

“I am so happy to hear from you. I was waiting so much. We can be good friends, yes. I have not heard of California or Utah.” from Titus Hide ( Kenya)

Such a simple thing as a letter can have a profound impact on a child’s life. These letters will be delivered to the school’s principal in the fall when the children return to school, and hopefully this will continue throughout  the coming school year. Thank you to the Hawthorn Academy!

If you would like to start a correspondence pen pal program with a school in Kenya, please contact me, or leave a message in the comments section.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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