The other day I was sitting under a tree at the local health center, waiting for the director to come and chatting with several folks. Three of them were nurses (one man and two women) who asked if I might be able to find them American pen pals. I am not sure if they are thinking of surface mail or if they might have access to the internet. I only have the internet here because I have a USB/cell phone modem, which I don’t expect they would have. They might go to the next big town where there are cyber cafes and use e-mail, but I think it more likely they are thinking of written letters, the old fashioned kind of pen pals. Now that I think of it, you have to go to that town (about an hour away by moto or bush taxi), to mail or receive a letter. No home delivery here! Well educated people here read and write a third language, usually English, so these folks could read letters in English and would respond in English (which may not be perfect, but probably would be understandable).
If any of you out there would like to have a Burkinabé pen pal, please send me an e-mail at Larsen@jcu.edu with your name, American mailing address, and e-mail address. You could also say a couple of things about yourself to help get things started. I am sure I will be getting more similar requests so if you don’t want to write to nurses but like the idea of a pen pal, let me know your interests and I will keep your information in reserve for future requests.