A Pen-Pal Program between children in Essex and Deschapelles has begun! In October 2010, Essex Girl Scout Troop 62041, led by Sue McCann, SCEH director, and Crystal Clarkin, volunteered to serve the wonderful Haitian food at our Sister Cities Essex Haiti fund raiser. This experience raised their interest in Haiti, in Sister Cities Essex Haiti and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer. Jenifer Grant, SCEH director, accepted an invitation to talk to them at one of their meetings. One of their requests was whether they could establish pen pals with contemporaries in Deschapelles. She assured them that this was possible and on her next trip to Haiti, Jenifer carried letters from the Girl Scouts to her young friends in Deschapelles.
The Girl Scouts all wrote letters in English on their computers and then used Google Translate to translate them into French and Kreyol. The Deschapelles children all sent back answers hand written in French or Kreyol or even English for some, and the pen pal relationship was underway. The children exchange information about their families, their school activities, what they enjoy doing in their leisure time and also their favorite musical artists. They are finding more similarities than they might have expected, but also some interesting differences.
Read what the children have said thus far about their Pen Pal experience!
Maggie: “I was surprised to learn that my buddy is not that different from me.”
Emma: “I look forward to getting a letter from my pen pal. It’s an amazing experience!”
Michaella: “It’s a good experience to get to know someone from a different culture. It’s exciting to get a new letter.”
Christina: “It’s really amazing to make connections with someone who lives in such a different world.”
Cassidy: “It’s cool to have the chance to interact with children of a different country.”
Annie: “I think it’s a great experience to meet new people and learn about their culture. I’ve also made a new friend. We have a lot in common!”