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