Archive for Penpal Interviews

October 20th, 2014

Penpal of the Week #147

 

I met Eugenia through Interpals, but it appears she is not new to the blog! Julie hosted a giveaway back in November of 2012 and Eugenia was the winner.

 

Please tell us about you!

My name is Eugenia, I’m 26 years old and currently I’m living in capital city of Uzbekistan – Tashkent. I’m ethnically Russian though, was born and bred here. I know that almost all people I’ve ever met didn’t have an idea where is this country on map, so I’d like to add a few words about it.

 

Uzbekistan is one of former republics of USSR situated in Central Asia and surrounding by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and a very small part of Afghanistan. Uzbekistan is a multinational (you can meet Russians, Koreans, Kazakhs, Germans, Jews) country, but the most amounts of citizens are Uzbek, all nationalities are living in peace for about 100 years by now. Tashkent is a beautiful city with a long history and it’s a very popular place for visitors as it was part of Great Silk Road as well as other aged cities of Uzbekistan like Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand.

 

Eugenia1

As autumn is my favourite season I wanted to share this pic with you!

 

I’m happily married for 4 years now to a great man Victor. We have an adorable female Scottish straight cat named Elisabeth Brauni. At the moment I don’t work and as I have more than enough free time I’m working on improving my English, thinking about learning another foreign language (my mother tongue is Russian) and sewing textile toys in Tilda style. Tilda is a craft brand founded by Norwegian designer Tone Finnanger in 1999, best known for its whimsical and naive characters in the form of animals and dolls. I once knew about these toys/dolls, now I can’t imagine life without sewing them.

 

Eugenia2

That’s our cat – Elisabeth Brauni.

 

Also I like reading books (classic Russian and world literature), listening to music (mostly good old rock songs of 70-80yy), penpalling (of course!), cooking and baking, taking pictures, watching movies as at cinema as at home, going for a walk, doing sports, being in nature, learning something new from history, geography and geopolitics.

 

My Facebook

Interpals profile

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

Shy

Introvert

Sensitive

Stubborn

Broadminded

Creative

Friendly

Patient

Tactful

Serious

 

Eugenia9

That’s me Eugenia in mountains of Kyrgyzstan in 2014.

 

How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I got a letter from my first pen pal when I studied at school with a help of my classmate. She introduced to me the German organization LetterNet, which helped people from all over the world who love write letter to meet each other. When I became a member I got a letter from Germany, from awesome girl who was my dearest penpal for 8 years! She was like a teacher for me as she shown me what a good letter is.

 

We often exchanged postcards, facts about our countries, small gifts and she was my closest friend till the moment she entered to University for study and didn’t have time for penpalling anymore. It was really sad and after some time I realized how much I missed getting/writing letters and since 2010 I became an active penpaller again. During these years I realized what kind of letters I like to get/write the most, medium – long to long meaningful letters on regular base and there’s no better feeling than to find fat colorful letter from far away friend!

 

Eugenia3

Here I hold all incoming letters.

 

How many penpals do you have and where are they from?

At the moment I have 30 penpals, most of them are from Europe but also a few of them are from N. America, Australia and New Zealand.

 

What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I like discuss in letters about anything and everything – daily life, hobbies, interests, hopes, fears as it’s so interesting to learn how people live in other places.

 

Eugenia4

I like to decorate letters with decotapes and rubber stamps.

 

What are you looking for in a penpal?

I’m looking for a good and sincere friend who understands me very well, who can support me when I need it and for sure we should have something in common. It helps a lot in building long lasting friendship. And also we should feel a click between us as it’s hard to push yourself for every letter if you don’t enjoy her letters.

 

In what language(s) do you correspond?

In English and Russian.

 

Eugenia5

It’s a sample of my handwriting.

 

What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I like to write my letter in my special corner in the evening hours with table light on and with a huge mug of tea next to me as I’m a huge tea lover! Usually I try to write reply as soon as possible – from a few days to 6 weeks (the most). Mostly this depends on my mood, motivation and length of my letters. (Medium to long, as I see short letters as waste of money and you hardly can build friendship if the letter has a few sentences.)

 

I like to use nice stationery, stickers, nice stamps and colorful pens for my letters. Also I like to treat my pals with enclosing small surprises now and then as stickers, postcards, teabags, bookmarks.

 

Eugenia6

I like to use nice stamps and envelopes, enclose surprises

like tea, cards, bookmarks and magnets.

 

Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

Hmmm, I’m afraid but I don’t have a strange/ funny story to share with you.

 

Eugenia7

Me and my husband Victor.

 

Have you met any of your penpals?

Unfortunately, due to my current place of living, meetings with pals are impossible as abroad travels cost a lot. But for sure if I ever have opportunity for traveling I’d like to meet some of my pals. So nowadays I’m traveling without leaving a house via letters from my dearest penpals!

 

Eugenia8

My current pile of letters to be answered.

 

Are you currently looking for more penpals?

I’m not actively looking for new penpals, but like many other letter writers I hardly could say “no” to a well written intro from a person. We might “click”!

 

Thanks so much, Eugenia! It’s been a pleasure to get to know you.

 

If you finished reading Eugenia’s interview and thought to yourself, “HEY, I want to be featured as Penpal of the Week too!” then you should send me an email so we can talk about that!

 
October 13th, 2014

Penpal of the Week #146

 

You might already know Christine in the USA from her penpal ad, but today you’ll learn even more about her because I interviewed her.

 

Please tell us about you!

My name is Christine. I’m 41 years old and live in the upper Mid-West with my son and husband, plus a very friendly Aussie Shepard named Boo. Right now I am a stay-at-home mom. In the past I’ve managed a big box retail store and worked for a newspaper in their finance department. I’ve got 2 University degrees, one in design, the other in merchandising. Now I volunteer and work on lots of home projects too. Plus I’m doing a lot of self improvement (or what I like to call working out and trying to eat right). I’m also busy finishing all my New Year’s resolutions. I think I can get them done before the end of December!

 

Christine1

That’s me. I really hate having my photo taken!

 

Describe your personality in 10 words!

This is always hard for me. Um, interesting, introverted, adventurous, intelligent, caring, sarcastic, shy, idealist, realist, hopeful. I don’t know if other people would describe me like this. I hope they would describe me well.

 

How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!

I have been pen palling since I was 11 years old. My first pen pal was a girl named Shelly Read in Tasmania, Australia. I got her name from the television show “Big Blue Marble” on Saturday morning. I still remember the address and pen pal commercial they played. I got several pen pals through this service until it went off the air. Then I got them from various places including Teen magazine and IPF International.

 

Christine3

My son and I in the pumpkin patch.

 

How many penpals do you have and where are they from?

Now, I’m unsure as people don’t always write back or take some time. People are busy. Right now, I know I have around 10. They are in Germany, England, France, US, Italy, and a few other places. The longest pen pal I have I’ve be writing to since 1988. Her name is Lynne and she lives in Hawaii. We were matched through a magazine based on our astrological signs. We are both Libras. My second longest is Abi who lives in England. I’ve been writing to her for over 7 years.

 

Christine2

Swimming with Manatees in Florida.

 

What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?

I always discuss what I’ve done between the last letter and the current one. What I’ve done with my family, what I would like to do, plans for the future, answer questions etc. However if a pal asks me a question, I always give them my honest answer or opinion. When I do that I try not to be mean, but honest. Hopefully people understand. I try to be mindful of cultural differences too.

 

Christine8

In the guard house in Denmark. I love to travel!

 

What are you looking for in a penpal?

I am looking for a regular letter writer. I hate it when people stop writing b/c they got married or a new job etc. I understand life happens and things take precedence. However, I can’t believe unless anyone has something severe happen, they can’t write a letter every 2 months. Sometimes I feel like people think they will write to someone until something better comes along in their life. What they don’t realize is their pen pal would like to share in that too and be their biggest cheerleader! I myself was extremely ill when I was pregnant with my son 8 years ago. So I couldn’t write or do anything. When I had recovered, I wrote as fast as I could to my pals apologizing and hoping they would forgive me. Many of them did. I have one pal who has some physical problems with her hands and cannot always write. I understand. I maybe only hear from her once a year. However, I know she loves letters but she cannot physically always answer them due to pain.

 

Christine6

With Chip and Dale at Disney.

 

What do you like the most about penpalling?

I love getting mail!! I love the art of writing. I like to hear about people. I love to have conversations on the page! You can say so much more in a letter than in a text or email. It also shows the person that you are taking time out of your day to write to them. I’m starting to get into mail art a little bit. Hopefully in the New Year I will have more time to devote myself to that part of pen pal writing.

 

In what language(s) do you correspond?

English. I tried writing in German a few years ago, but I wasn’t very good at it. I don’t remember much of the language. My poor reader must have thought it was like getting a letter from a 3 year old! So now I stick with just English.

 

Christine5

In my college years in Rome.

 

What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?

I try to write long letters whenever I can. I also think when pals write long letters, they often get long replies or should! I takes me 2 months generally to write back. I return letters in the order I receive them. I keep track of my letters and pen pals in a notebook. That way I’ve known what I’ve written to whom. This helps when you have pen pals writing at different times. It also helps when you have pen pals with the same name!

 

For instance, I’ll write to my pen pal Abi. I have her name on the top of the page Abi Lastname, and her country (England). On the left side of the page I put what I have written her about. So on that side I’ll put Summer Vacation, room painted, read “XYZ” book etc… On the right I’ll put if I sent them something like a postcard, or photo. I also save all my letters of my current pen pals in a box tied together.

 

Christine4

I repurposed this drawer as a shelf for my son’s stuff.

 

Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?

I’ve only had one weird request. It was for information on serial killers. This girl collected things on them. Needless to say I found it creepy and didn’t write back. I also was asked years ago to help a pal find a job in California. I think she didn’t realize just how big the United States is.

 

Have you met any of your penpals?

I’ve met a few pen pals. I met a lot of them when I lived in England. I met a guy I used to write to from Iceland. Then I met a pen pal from Australia. I met 2 British pen pals several times too. Then I met my American Pen Pal on my honeymoon in Hawaii.

 

Christine7

Meeting one of my pen pals with my husband on our honeymoon.

 

Are you currently looking for more penpals?

Yes, always! Please see my pen pal ad from a few months ago.

 

Thank you Christine!

 

Is anyone else interested in being featured as Penpal of the Week? If so, just get in touch with me, I’d love to interview you too!

Hello!

My name is Julie and I'm 34.
I live in Québec (close to Montréal) and I speak French.

I write letters, I love stationery and I have a handwriting fetish. I often eat sushi, still feel like I'm 16 and only wear skirts & dresses (with colorful tights when it's cold).

I'm happier with a mind full of ideas, a mailbox full of letters from my penpals, a shop full of stationery, a house full of cats and a day full of hugs.

Read my Top 10 Quirks here.


This is me with my girlfriend,
Denise. We met through the
League of Extraordinary
Penpals and are living
happily ever after amongst
piles of cats and stationery.

Denise will blog here
from time to time and is
the one in charge of the
social media: Facebook,
Twitter and Pinterest.

She's 38 years old,
from the United States,
and in love with me, washi
tape & imperial rolls.

Send your penpal ad & top 10 quirks to:

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