I’m an old soul with a love for writing letters. There’s nothing more pleasant than getting a letter from Canada, Venezuela, Japan, Sweden or the Philippines. I have learned more about a culture in my exchange of letters with my penpals than I learned from any class. Sometimes they don’t have to be pen pals in exotic places, I write to my friends in Ohio, VCU, Kansas and more locally to my uncle in Norfolk, Va.
This type of communication may not be preferred as much but for introverts like myself, it’s a great way to communicate your deepest feelings and thoughts and learn from one another.
In my letters I have asked my penpals what it’s like living everyday life in their home, their favorite foods, what they’re family is like, what they like to do for fun, the struggles they go through and the attitudes of the locals. The answers I get back are anywhere from simple to outrageous. A great example is from my pen pal in Kansas who will be doing service for the Peace Corps in a country I don’t quite remember, where bridal kidnapping is still practiced. Another great example is my pen pal who lives in the mountains and described her experience and status of the country when the Tsunami struck through Philippines.
Some of these pen pals I lose over time but others I have kept for over 2 years now. I highly recommend that you give it a try in a country you want to learn from.