One of the first things I did when Pablo, my P.O. box, came into my life was find a handful of LEPeeps around my age around the US who wanted to help me break him in. Charmaine came into my life soon after. Though we haven’t been exchanging letters very long, she has already earned the acknowledgment here. So meet Charmaine!
SK: How do you feel about being Pen Pal of the Month?
Charmaine: It’s an honor to be chosen as pen pal of the month; thank you, Kate! I’ve never been picked for one of these things so it’s pretty cool. And you’re such an awesome pen pal so I’m more than happy to answer your questionnaire.
SK: What has been your favorite thing about pen palling?
Charmaine: My favorite thing about pen palling is personally connecting with someone who lives far away. It’s amazing how pen pals can establish friendships through written words which take time, effort, and meaning, rather than a quick text message or comment on Facebook. I also love getting to know someone else’s culture and lifestyle and exchanging little gifts (stickers, bags of tea, sticky notes), as well as picking out cute or elegant stationery to use with my friends.
SK: What, if anything, is your least favorite thing about it?
Charmaine: One of the things I don’t like about pen palling is when I don’t really connect with a person and I don’t know how to tell that pen pal that I’d prefer not to continue writing. I am really sensitive and try to be considerate of the feelings of the other person. Thankfully I connect with the majority of my pen pals! The other thing I don’t like is when a good pen pal hasn’t written for many months (or a year) and did not tell me why. I understand that life gets busy (for me, too!), but it makes me wonder if we’re still pen pals or not. I would rather know what’s going on rather than being left in the dark.
SK: Why do you like writing me?
Charmaine: I enjoy writing to you, Kate, because you’re sincere, prompt with your letters, and you ask me questions because you genuinely seem to want to get to know me better. Some of my pen pals just talk about themselves and don’t ask any questions at all, and that makes it a little harder to respond to them. We also have some things in common, which makes it even more fun to write to you, and it’s also interesting to discover our differences that make us unique.
SK: And what do you like about April?
Charmaine: In the month of April I love celebrating Easter, because it is a joyous celebration and a fun, relaxing day with my family, and I also enjoy celebrating my older brother’s birthday. It’s also the last month of cool weather in Southern California before the climate starts heating up sometime in May.
Something else (I could have sworn) Charmaine told me is that I should be getting another letter from her soon, and I know many more are going to follow. I also know that this will be enclosed with my next letter as she requested a bookmark as her PPOTM prize:
Wondering how Pen Pal of the Month works? Well, to find April’s honoree I put every pen pal I heard from in March (minus Jody, Jenn, and Sarah S.) into a raffle and pulled out Charmaine’s name. Those I hear from this month will be eligible for May’s raffle. The questions, including what homemade prize the winner would like, quickly follow the drawing. Congratulations to Charmaine once again, and to everyone else, I hope April is treating you well!
Sincerely, Kate ~!~