“Ma’m, Ma’m! How do spell ‘noodles’?” “Ma’m, read mine.” “Ma’m, is this right?” 

In a classroom packed with over 60 students, we started our Kid 2 Kid penal project. Actually, we started the evening before, but I get ahead of myself. 

Packed in my suitcase were 7 letters from the children of friends and family members, those who volunteered to be our first pen pals. The idea was touring the letters and find corresponding pen pals here in Padhar and begin a conversation to bridge the distance. Although the idea was initially met with enthusiasm, as I discussed it with the ‘higher-ups’ in the school, I felt like it was going be too much trouble. So I began to panic. What will I tell the children who’ve written letters and drawn pictures? 

I was asked on Saturday night, to help lead a Sunday School class of sorts, for the English Speaking children of the Padhar Lutheran Church. “This is my perfect chance!” I thought. So, I brought my letters, gave a short bible lesson and we wrote 4 letters that evening. But that evening I got word that the principal of the Happy Valley School was expecting me on Monday, to take the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students and write letters with them!

Yes! We will certainly get enough letters in this venture.

SO, on Monday I met with over 60 students in a small classroom and I gave a little lesson on letter-writing: what to say, what questions to ask, how to begin and end a letter. In this process I discovered that many of the children did not write English well. Only a few understood what I was explaining. But all did the exercise with joy. Especially when they got a chance to add an Emoji sticker to their letter! (Thanks to Rubie for sending those along!) 

So, packed in my bag are 60 letters, some written to particular children, others waiting for a mate. We will discover what the future holds for the penal program, but this part was a success!

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