I held off answering the four letters which had come in in the last two weeks because I had been having such a great time sending baby pictures to my Compassion children using Compassion's new email stationery. But today was the day I wrote to all of them, except for Wainaina, in Kenya, because I sent him a long letter via e-mail with football pictures included.
I started writing at about 10:30 a.m. and it was nearly 3 before I finished. It doesn't always take that long, but this time I had letters to answer, so a boilerplate letter wouldn't work. I also had gifts to send, each child getting something different, whether a coloring book, stickers, games, flash cards, or whatever, suited to that particular child. I sent one girl a Bingo game. I hope it goes through!
It also takes longer because of the age difference. The three little guys get short, simple letters, but the older kids, especially Shallon in Uganda, are writing long interesting letters asking probing questions and it takes longer to answer her.
By the time I finished I had a fat flat rate package to mail, which I can't mail until tomorrow, since today is Columbus day.
I'm good on snail mail letters now for a month, though I'm sure there will be one or two e-mails between now and then, if I get interesting photos to send.
This is what one of the new e-mail letters looks like.
You choose the particular design you want to use for writing, write your letter, include 1-3 photos and press send. Compassion takes the letters, translates them, prints them and sends off to the field office (or maybe they are printed at the field office; I'm not sure!). Eventually they get to the kids. I haven't had feedback from them yet--probably not for another month, at least--but I'm curious to see how the kids feel at the other end, receiving these pretty new letters!