China is a long ways away from California, but you would never know that watching these two become acquainted. This was a dream come true for each girl. They have been Pen Pals for almost a year. Lin Yuhe writes in Chinese, and her mother translates and writes the letter in English. Annie writes and draws amazing pictures. Lin Yuhe is 9 1/2 years old, and Annie is 6 1/2.
My long story for the day was that my car wouldn't start, so after towing, Judy and John gave me a ride to the festivities, where I was to be the Photographer. They just happened to have picked up the current foster kittens, and Judy brought them in for the girls to see. Lin Yuhe was not sure what to make of this, as she quickly discovered that the little black cat had claws!
They didn't want to ride in separate cars, so Lin Yuhe climbed into the truck with Annie. They just wanted to soak up every moment with one another. It was inspiring to watch the girls communicate with very little shared language. Lin Yuhe could say "Ice Cream!" clearly; her Mom told us that she had eaten it every day since her arrival in the United States, and this day was no exception. She also ate at least three S'mores after dinner!
Annie's Mom made the girls bags. Lin Yuhe's was filled with gifts, including a Cow Girl outfit! Gifts were exchanged at every turn of event, and I am just now feeling a little inadequate! I didn't have one gift for anyone! Not only that, but I forgot, rather, didn't even think to take a photo of the adults!
The day was long and so full. We had many discussions of what it is to be American, and Chinese. A dinner was planned carefully to include typical American food, and of course, since we are in the Wine Country, several wines were included. The ideas expressed and shared have lingered. We are still comparing, and looking up things. It is clear that not only was this an important event in the lives of the Pen Pals, but for the families as well.
What a day!