A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

Beijos from Brazil

Today I have a very special post and it doesn’t fit into my normal Eyemasq posts.   Instead it is just a story that I wanted to share with you all.

When I was about 13 years old, almost 15 years ago now (boy does that make me feel like I am getting old) I met a girl named Samira on the internet and she was from Brazil.  Not sure if you all remember ICQ or not, but that instant messaging computer program made us fast friends.  Upon a little bit of chatting, we decided we wanted to send letters, pictures, presents and to become true pen-pals.

We began writing each other right away and every couple of months I would receive a package from Samira, detailing what was new in her life and asking for updates in mine.  I would immediately write her back and the cycle began, every few months another letter.  I have an entire box of her letters here, I kept every single one.  I have every picture and even every envelope ever sent.   We would sign every letter with Abraços e Beijos, Portuguese for Hugs and Kisses (the first Portuguese I ever learned).  In the past few years, the letters stopped and Facebook was our new medium for staying in touch and updating each other on our lives.  Who knew you could have SO MUCH in common with someone on the other end of the world.  We ended up being so alike and to this day share all of the same passions in life.  We are both married now, working away and trying to find as much time for travel as possible.

Several months ago Samira contacted me about a possible trip to Canada.  We worked out dates with our varying schedules and in no time at all her flight was booked.  She needed a letter of invitation to apply for a VISA and the months flew by…she was coming!

Most people don’t know what it is like to have a long distance friend…or at least one that you actually manage to stay friends with as the years pass.  For Samira and I, our friendship only knew distance and lots of it!

Yesterday, my penpal of 15 years, flew in from Sao Paulo, Brazil and we met face to face for the first time.  I picked her up at the airport and it felt like the craziest thing.  I was able to see her in person and actually hear her voice…something I didn’t even realize I was missing out on for all of those years.

Canadian Hotdog

And this morning, for the first time in her life she saw snow falling from the sky.  She ran outside onto the balcony immediately trying to get pictures…I personally have never been so happy to see snow.

For the next two weeks, Samira and I will get to know what it is like to be friends in person and not through snail mail, email or Facebook.  We will be tourists in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.  And we will be able to experience those comfortable silences where you simply hang out with a person.  I couldn’t be more excited to have her here and I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks have in store for us.

Parliament Hill in Canada's Capital City

So Abraços e Beijos Samira!  And from the bottom of my heart, welcome to Canada!  I couldn’t be happier to have you. ❤

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22 responses

  1. Such a lovely story! It’s so similar to my pen pal Nicole and I, who write via Polyvore.

    XOXO Julia- http://eatshopfashion.wordpress.com

    April 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    • Thanks for commenting! Penpals are such a special thing. When I have children, I will someday want them to have a penpal too – it is an experience unlike any other!

      April 1, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  2. TAG! I’ve tagged you in my post! http://irnbb.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/im-in-the-game-ive-been-tagged/

    April 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

  3. Awww so sweet makes me want to have a pen pal 😦

    April 2, 2012 at 2:34 am

    • Everyone should have one! I had three growing up, but Samira was the only one that lasted the test of time. I’m so glad she is here!

      April 2, 2012 at 6:37 am

  4. Jen Fodey

    This made me tear up. Granted I’m a sap but this was such a sweet story.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

  5. Welcome, Samira! And that is a wonderful story – definitely a rare one. Especially since as children, (I, at least,) have always been warned about the dangers of being tricked by creepers and nowadays, the dangers of identity theft. Your story truly shows what it means to connect with people around the world. Just goes to show that true friendships can withstand anything – neither distance nor time can erode it.

    April 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    • It truly is a special story! This doesn’t happen often. I hope someday my children get to experience what I did by having a penpal.

      Next year – Brazil!

      April 2, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      • How exciting! You need to share those adventures too 🙂

        April 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

  6. Oh, you know that I will! But for now, you will hear about our travels here. We go to Toronto (not that you will find that very interesting) in a couple of days, then Quebec City and Montreal. I will have lots of pictures and stories to share from her adventure here in Canada!

    April 2, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  7. Thank you for receiving me with open arms. I’m loving being here!
    Go shopping girls!!! LOL

    April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

  8. Great story! I hope you’ll share what other fun you two have during her stay :).

    April 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

  9. Hey! I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogging Award! Copy/save the badge and follow the rules here:
    http://irnbb.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/ive-been-nominated/

    April 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm

  10. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award 🙂

    http://themakeupnerd.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/ive-been-nominated/

    Check it out!

    April 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

  11. I’ve nominated you for the versatile blogger award! Congrats ❤

    http://magandakels.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/versatile-blogger-nomination/

    -Kels

    April 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm

  12. Shannon, this is SUCH A BEAUTIFUL STORY!!! I almost teared up a little for some reason. I hope you’re having a great time with Samira! It’s such a blessing to have held onto each other for 15 years!

    April 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    • Thank you Sunny! We have been having a great time. She is only here for 4 more days (3 nights). Right now we are in the beautiful Quebec City and we will head to Montreal this morning for a couple of days before we return to Ottawa for her flight home. The time has flown by, but having her here has been very very special!

      April 11, 2012 at 7:33 am

  13. Pingback: Eudora Cosmeticos « eyemasq

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