Readers write about the pen pals they found through the Monitor's old Mail Bag column.
I have often thought of all the fun I had writing to the pen pals that were listed in the Monitor when I was in grade school.
I wrote to five different girls in other countries. Would you believe how interesting geography and history became to me – and how much I improved my grades?
Joyce lived in Australia and wrote about the sheep her family cared for and the beautiful hillsides near her. I lived in New Bedford, Mass., in a tenement house, where we had a waterfront view of a bay. It was interesting writing about such a comparison.
What fun and joy to learn about other countries and friends.
How fun it was to read the essay about Mail Bag pen pals. I immediately looked in a box of old photos and found two pictures sent to me by Tikako Koyama. I believe we wrote each other for about four years.
When I wrote her that I was accepted to college, she asked me what I would like as a gift. I knew that her father was a dollmaker, and I boldly asked for a doll! I have it still and treasure it.
The two pictures I have of her show her in her school uniform as well as in her kimono. I remember that we talked about school and the kinds of things we liked to do. My cousin collected stamps, and I sent the stamps from Japan to him.
My mother and I were visiting my sister and her Norwegian husband north of Oslo when we decided to venture into exciting "unknown" areas of Europe. We arranged a train journey from Stockholm to Basel, Switzerland.