Letter-writing is not a part of their culture, so I have to be sensitively aware that we are pushing a Euro-centric concept onto them. Further obstacles are lack of literacy and a majority of non-English speakers. But what was very evident is that they love to get a letter from their Canadian partner, and we must remember that is what our frequent letters are – a gift of taking time to show we care.
I asked them what they would like to hear in their partner’s letter and they replied: what do they like to do – crafts, knitting, singing, church, gardening, sewing and what do they do with the products? how does our Grannies group operate? do we have lunch together like them, visit the sick, play sports? And they love to get photos!
I told them how we like to hear the details of their daily lives and of their Sitabogogo activities, and gave many examples. Then they had a letter writing session. A few wrote on their own, and a few English speakers scribed for others. We’ll carry on with assisting more of them in the days to come . . . strengthening that link.