Monday, March 9, 2009
FRIENDS IN FAR AWAY PLACES
Back in the days when the world was a lot bigger, people actually wrote something called letters as a way of communicating with people in distant lands. And in an attempt to make the world seem a little bit smaller, fourth grade teachers encouraged students to get pen pals from other English speaking countries to communicate with. My pen pal Lee, from Australia and I wrote for about two years and that was that; but my sister Donna and her pen pal Robyn from New Zealand have been writing, emailing, Skyping and meeting/visiting each other for 42 years now. While Robyn has been to the US, Donna has not yet made it here to New Zealand - but here I am!
Robyn has been a part of our family's life for a long time; not often in the foreground but never not in the background. When she came to the US 26 years ago, she lived with Donna for about 3 months and was most definitely a part of the family. About 11-12 years ago my parents had the opportunity to be in Auckland as part of an Australia and New Zealand tour and had a day with Robyn and by that time, her son Jeremy.
We met Robyn and Jeremy at Little Italy, a downtown restaurant, for dinner one night. A short evening, but that was OK, there was more to come. Saturday morning found the 6 of us wandering the streets of the Otara Polynesian Market. After several hours, we split up; Jeremy to hook up with some of his Friends, Marty and the girls to a museum, and Robyn and I to have a ladies' afternoon. What we did really wasn't important, it was just great to have 5 hours together to share our lives with each other.
On Sunday evening, we all went out to Robyn and Jeremy's house to have a BBQ where they shared their home, their hospitality and even some of their friends. It was a fun and enjoyable Kiwi night and certainly one of our New Zealand highlights.