(This was originally posted on my old blog, We’ve Got Paper, on February 22, 2010.)
This week, we have our first Penpal of the Week from Indonesia: Tiya.
Please tell us about you!
Hello everyone! :D
I am excited to be here and get the chance to introduce myself and my HUGE hobby of snail mailing! :D
So, my name is Tiya and am from Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the countries in South East Asia. I live in an island called Java, but originally from the most southern part of the country called Papua. Papua is one of the five big provinces in Indonesia and there are more than 250 tribes in it, with their own languages. Mine is called Biak and I have been trying to learn it. But we have a national language called Indonesian, that has enabled us to communicate with each other throughout the country. :D
Sun Flower is my favorite flower. This picture of mine was taken in Singapore Airport.
I love learning languages. I speak Indonesian, English, a bit of Biak and Dutch and am learning Korean at the moment. It is so hard but it challenges me to use a better strategy. :D I am also interested in Sociology and Community Development and really hope that I can go back to school to learn more of the subjects one day. :D
I collect anything about Winnie the Pooh, and also collect pencils, pens and yellow notepads.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
I got the following description about myself from a Facebook quiz that I took and when I read it I was like “This is so me. They even know my favorite color which is Green” :D, so I think I would write it here. :D
My hometown, Papua. It is Pacific behind us.
“You are Green! You tend to be a little more introverted than extroverted – while you love being with your friends, you still need your “you” time. You are probably a rather laid back, zen sort of person, unless you get a good kick of energy; then you can be crazy fun! You know when to lie down and let someone take the lead, but if you feel strongly about something, you’re not afraid to stand up for it! You are compassionate and like plants. You may be a little off-beat, and feel like not many people really see the depth in your personality. You would rather keep things on a superficial level that other people can understand than show the deeper side of yourself. You, in a nutshell: Cool, energized, balanced, strong, zen, deep, intelligent, logical and compassionate.”
Another view of one of the beaches in Papua.
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I first started penpalling around the age of 13. My first penpal was a girl called Bethany from America. But she actually lived in Indonesia for a few years, so we got to meet a few times. We kept in touch after she returned to America, but then lost in touch for a few years and just recently found each other on Facebook.
I also had a few other penpals from the Netherlands, Japan, and Italy. I completely lost in touch with the ones from Japan, but just got back in touch with the ones from Italy and the Netherlands, which has been exciting. :D
Me with my two good friends. I am the one on the right.
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
Right now I have 20 penpals. Most of them I met through Interpals (my profile name there is tiya2480).
They are from the States, Finland, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Canada, Austria, Hungary, Russia, Croatia, Poland, Sweden, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands.
I really enjoy writing and getting news from each of them, learning about their lives and cultures. I really hope we all will stay in touch for years to come. :D
A sample of my handwriting.
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
The lives of my friends, what they have been through and share the excitement and sadness, the culture differences, ways of thinking on things that some take for granted, languages and new stationary stuff and to include some of this in the letter, so they can get the idea what I talk about. :D
Me with the Javanese dancers.
What are you looking for in a penpal?
Penpals who want to have a long-term friendship, who will not disappear after a few letters, who enjoy the friendship and have mutual respect and simply paying attention in the communication by writing regularly.
Me at Borobudur temple. It used to be one of the wonders in the world.
What do you like the most about penpalling?
The unique friendship that has built through the letters, getting to know some people who live in other parts of the world and the awesome feeling of opening a mail box and seeing letters came all the way from other countries, written by people who think about you and spend time to write you.
In what language(s) do you correspond?
English and Dutch.
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I like to write letters on my desk, facing this wall full of pictures of my friends and family and so many different Winnie the pooh cards, stickers, sun flowers and leaves.
When I get a letter, I write back right away. I don’t want my penpals to wait too long, the longest for me to write back would be three days after receiving it. :D
My friend and I are hiking to the top. This is one of the many mountains
that you can hike in the area where I live, Central Java.
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
I mentioned earlier about my early penpal who lives in the Netherlands. It has been ages since we were in touch. And out of nowhere, in fact just last month, I got a message sent through a penpal site we are members of, asking whether I was the Tiya whom she used to write. And you have no idea how excited I was to find out that she’s my long lost penpal friend! :D It has been awesome to be in touch with her and hopefully we won’t be missing each other again! :D
Have you met any of your penpals?
I got to meet my first penpal, Bethany, a few times. However, I did not get to take pictures of us.
I have not met my new penpals yet, but I hope one day we will. :D
Some of my stationary stuff.
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
Yes, there is always room for new penpals. So yeah, I would be happy to get to know more people. Just write me at email@example.com or my Interpals.
Thanks a lot, Julie, for the interview. It’s been really fun!! :D
Thanks to you, Tiya, for answering my questions!
* I’m looking for a couple of people who would like to be featured as Penpal of the Week on my blog in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested, please let me know!