Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The mailbag

In case long-time readers of this blog haven't clued in, I probably get more personal mail than the average person. It brings no end to my joy when I reach into my mailbox to pull out a letter. Someone took the time to think about me, and took the time to sit down and try and put those thoughts into words. The edges of envelopes I recieve are creased, the addresses are hand-written and the packages are often dirty and smudged with food.

And in some cases, this mail has travelled across the world to find me.

Yesterday, I got a letter from my host mom Kathy.

Jessica mifala ol family blong you long Vanuatu vai mifala no save forgetem you. Taem mifala look photos blong you we you givem mifala pray talem thank you long papa God.

Kathy made that fan for me. In Vanuatu, I used it in church to combat the oppressive humdity and heat caused by wearing an island dress. Here, in Canada, it just reminds me of some vague experience that I'm not even sure happened to me.

I don't know if I believe in God, but I do know that I feel blessed to have been given families that I have. I have a family in Finland that took me into their home in a month (Helka, please do let your mom know that I could never forget aiti). And now I am fortunate enough to have a family in the South Pacific. In both cases, I don't speak the languages, but it doesn't matter.

My favourite part of Kathy's letter is as follows:

Jessica sister blong Tom, Julie i wantem se bai you find wan benfriend blong hem long Canada, hem i Kat 18 years old. Jessica after you find benfriend blong sister Julie them bai you write blong mammi back bai you talem long benfriend blong sister Julie to bai i write i kam long sister Julie. Hem ya address blong sister Julie. . .

The verdict is still out of this portion of the letter, and I've got a whole bunch of people trying to figure it out. I don't think benfriend is a real Bislama word--Kathy, for my benefit, tried to use as many English words as possible in her letter to me. Anyways, this section has two possible meanings:

1) My host sister Julie has a penpal in Canada whose name is Kat, and is 18-years-old. Could I find them and tell them to write to Julie.

2) Could I please find my sister Julie a Canadian boyfriend?

So, uh, anyone out there know a 18-year-old named Kat who had a ni-Van penpal?

If not, does anyone want to date Julie? She's pretty smokin'. No word of a lie. (Just thought I'd throw that out there.)


  1. Craig's List response;
    So, you're from Vanuatu eh? I like girls from far away places. My friend Jessica tells me you're pretty smokin'. In Canada, that's a real good thing. I'll teach you all the English you want if you talk dirty to me in Bislama. Let's get a drink sometime. You bring the Kava.

  2. Talking dirty in Bislama. We've been over this:
    Mi dead long yu.
    Mi likem yu.

    The end.

  3. Anonymous1:42 AM

    Greetings, blogging pal.
    Yes, Gill and I will be at the Lily Allen show, there's actually a Facebook group for people attending. May I suggest a pre-show or after show dinner?