They say it takes a long time to get the first letter from your sponsored child at Compassion, Int'l. I have 3 kids I'm writing to. Anjali, from India; Pedro, from Brasil; and Fred, from the Philippines. I'm not sponsoring Fred, just writing to him because his sponsors don't. Every kid should have someone to write to him. Lots of sponsors take on second or third or more children who don't have anybody sending them letters.
I was prepared to wait a long time before hearing from any of the kids, but imagine my surprise (and delight) to have already received my first letter from Pedro. Whoda thunk it would be the Brasilian who would be early!
It is, of course, just a "getting to know you" letter, without any real "communication" yet, but I'm thrilled.
I now know, for example, that he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. I know that he likes to play ball. His favorite food is rice, beans and meat (sounds like a feijoada fan there). His favorite subject is Portuguese -- I should study up on my Portuguese so I can read the side of the letter that is untranslated before checking on the translation.
His favorite color is white. How odd. "White" is never a color that I would even think about when choosing a favorite. I think of "white" as more the absence of color.
I now know that he has a mother and a stepfather, a brother (Everton) and three sisters (Vitoria, Sara and Ana Clara). He also lives in the area of Recife. We had someone from Recife stay with us once. I wish I could remember who that was....
He also asks how old I am, what I do, and what my favorite sport is.
OK--so it's not exactly an outpouring of his thoughts and feelings, but I'm thrilled to have it.
Best of all, it comes with a drawing:
The original information I had about him said that he likes cars, and that shows in this picture. I should ask him what the design on the side of the car is.
And I guess that might be a colorful soccer ball?
But what I love about the picture is the figure at the left. Is this a self portrait? Does he see himself with spiky green hair?
If so, he and Ned would get along well! I should try to find some of the more outrageous hair styles that Ned has had over the years and send them to him. But then since he looks like a rather normal Brasilian boy, perhaps giving him ideas isn't such a good idea!
(At the moment, Ned's shaved head is slowly growing back in again. He has a plan for the regrowth, which involves an amount of creativity, but I think I won't say anything about it and wait until the project is finished to talk about it -- but I have to say I'm anxious to see how it all comes out myself!)
I hope this will be the first of what will grow into many exchanges between me and the three children. Compassion seems to encourage communication, not only between sponsor and child, but among the sponsors themselves, an opportunity to share ideas and brag about your "kids." Compassion also arranges for group trips to visit the schools where the sponsored kids study. Maybe some day I will actually take that trip to Brasil after all!