Penpalling & Letters

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Mailboxes around the world

Have you ever wondered how mailboxes all over the world look like? How are their colours and shapes? I have, and I know they are really different in one country to another. But once, when I was much younger, I could not imagine that every national Post uses a different symbolic colour, that mailboxes are painted on this specific colour and that their shapes were so different to the ones I knew in my country.
So, in this post I am asking to all of you to take pictures of the mailboxes you usually send your letters from, or any other in your village, town or city...

I plan to upload an album entitled “Mailboxes around the world” so everybody can see how mailboxes all around the planet look like, and probably all of us will be amazed to discover such a diversity!

If you are interested in participating, send me an e-mail enclosing your name/nickname, city where you took the pic and country you come from to: penpallingandletters[at]gmail[dot]com

Here is the link to the album where you can check all the pics:

"Mailboxes around the world"

If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing"

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Poste Européenne de l'Amitié

In mid-90s, at the same time I discovered the existence of IYS-International Youth Service, I also got to know about Poste Européenne de l'Amitié (or European Post of Friendship), working under the patronage of the European Community (European Union nowadays).

Poste Européenne de l'Amitié was created in 1975 by a group of voluntary workers. Since then, it has favoured the correspondence exchange among more than 200000 French young people and from other European nationalities (13 to 20 years of age). This service was free of charge because as they state Friendship is a richness which cannot be commercialized:

37, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois
75004 Paris

Back then, I got one pal through Poste Européenne de l'Amitié and my brother got two pals as well. Therefore, this association was working well back to the 90s. I have tried to search about them on the Internet and I found the website of the Maison de l'Europe de Paris-House of Europe in Paris and the site of the Federation of Houses of Europe.

However, I couldn't find anything about their current activity and if they are still involved in the correspondence exchange for young people. If someone out there, especially French people, do know something about Poste Européenne de l'Amitié, let me know the news you have about them and if they are still active at present.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Dear John (2010)

Dear John is an American romantic drama starring Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. It was released theatrically in the United States on February 5, 2010. Directed by Lasse Hallström, the film is an adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel of the same name. It shows the life of a young soldier who falls for an idealistic college girl. They decide to exchange letters to each other after he is deployed to the war.

Special Forces Army Sergeant John Tyree is home on a temporary leave. He meets Savannah Curtis, a college student who is on spring break, after he dives into the ocean to retrieve Savannah's purse that had fallen off the pier. For the smitten soldier it is practically love at first sight. In a matter of days a budding romance occurs and Savannah falls deeply in love with John. He returns to the Army and they begin a long distance relationship through handwritten letters. John believes that year will be his final year of enlistment but, following the 9/11 attacks, he is torn between returning home and his sense of duty. Over the next years, the couple is separated by John’s increasingly dangerous deployments and their love is put to test. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas which keeps him going. However, this loving and heartfelt correspondence would ultimately yield consequences that neither the brave soldier nor his one true love could have ever foreseen.

[Information taken from The Internet Movie Database, Allmovie and Wikipedia]

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Penpalling Polls

On the right area of the Blog you can see a column of different polls. There are always new polls coming out, so make sure to check this area of the Blog often. Feel free to vote and tell your opinion about every question regarding penpalling. When a considerable number of people have voted, the results will be published in an entry of the Penpalling and Letters Blog. Guess it will be interesting to discover tastes of all those penpallers spreaded all over the world!

I. Penpalling tools - What is your favourite one?
II. Meeting penpals before the existence of the Internet

If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing"

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Penpalling Sites

Before the Internet arrived to our lives, many of us met penpals through magazines, penpal organizations, stays abroad to learn the language, holidays, school-exchanges, friendship-books (FBs)… Meeting pals seemed a bit more difficult at those times than nowadays. With the arrival of the Internet penpal sites spreaded and people got in touch more easily than before. Some websites have come and then were gone. Some have remained active for several years now. Others have disappeared after a while...

The good point about penpalling websites and their ads is that people can write as much as they wish to give information about themselves. The more information you obtain, the best idea you get about that potential pal and then you can decide whether you are interested in contacting that person or not. In previous times, short ad-magazines or penpal information provided by penpal organizations was so scarce that it was difficult to know if you had enough points in common to get along with this pal. So, in my opinion, ads from penpalling websites are a much better way to get to know which people are more likely to become your pal than other ways.

At first I thought about mentioning some penpalling websites in this entry according to characteristics as they are: nice interface, easy search, often updated, sites controlled by the owner, need of registration, free of charge or not, or even amount of spamming messages. In the end I have realized that this is such a personal taste that it is impossible to choose "the best penpalling sites". Therefore, check this section of the Blog: "Penpalling Connections" and have a look around to surf those sites I have compiled and see which one interests you the most. If you know about any penpalling site you really like let me know about it and I will post its link on the "Penpalling Connections" section.

If you are looking for penpals you can leave an ad at the Penpalling and Letters Blog as well, and it will be published as soon as possible after being checked:




If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing"

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How I started penpalling... What about you?

When I first got interested into letter-writing and penpalling Internet hadn’t arrived to our lives. I started writing letters many years before that happened, in the beginning of the 90s.

How did I first started?

One summer I met a girl who lived in a city far away. Those days we spent together during our summer holidays were great but… how to be in touch once we would be back to our places of origin? We quickly came to a solution: we could write letters to each other! It worked and I immediately got hooked to the letter world. Problem was where to find more people interested in letter writing...

In the mean time I was also exchanging letters with some of my schoolmates, mainly during the summers. This way we were keeping track of our exciting adventures happening all year round.

I only met my next and first foreign pal two summers later, again during summer holidays. The experience of getting letters from abroad was so exciting that I got more and more interested in penpalling! I could never wait to receive letters from my penpals. I remember every time I was back from school and I couldn’t wait to check the mailbox to know if I had received mail or not. Those days a letter reached my letterbox were so special!

I was still struggling how to meet more foreign pals when I had the chance to meet my longest-lasting penfriend until now through an ad magazine. Sometimes, when you less expect it you are nicely surprised! Letters already were really addictive to me by then! Shortly after, I discovered IYS – Internacional Youth Service, and then I really had the chance to meet some wonderful penpals from more foreign countries. Time passed, some people stopped writing, others have remained for many years now, but I always keep wonderful memories of every penfriendship as every person and the letters they wrote to me were unique and a wonderful life-experience.

When Internet arrived to our lives, meeting new people to write letters to and being in touch with seemed easier than before. At least this is what I felt. When being a child and a teenager contacting someone living far away seemed nearly impossible. Suddenly, Internet made everything easier and distances seemed closer.

I have met all of my recent pals online in the last five years. Where? Penpalling sites, social networks, blogs, forums… In fact, anywhere in the net related to penpalling you can find a penpal these days...

What about you?
How did you discover letter-writing?
What was the reason which made you start penpalling? Why?
Where and how did you meet your first pals?

It would be great if you would be willing to share your experiences here or in your personal site (leave a link so we can go there)!
I am sure that many people are looking forward to read them, myself included of course!

If you are looking for advice on penpalling check: "Tips on letter writing"

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Lego and postal mail

Like Playmobil®, Lego® also has accesories related to mail. Look at the letterboxes of all those houses and to the delivery truck with mailbox and the letters which are being held by the postman!

[Images taken from Lego®]

Monday, 1 March 2010

Playmobil and postal mail

A few days ago one of my friends uploaded some pictures of her son's toys and I discovered these cute accesories from Playmobil®. Aren’t they cool? I would have wished to have those when I was a child! All of them are mail-related:

The first picture shows the Playmobil Post Office. You can see the postal box, the boxes full of mail, the postal scale, files, packages and letters, just like a real Post Office!

Here you can see the Playmobil DHL Delivery Truck carrying the packages, the delivery man holding the necessary tools to do his work and even a hand truck to carry the heavy packages.

Finally, the last image shows Playmobil Mail Carriers: a postman holding a trolley full of mail and a postwoman carrying the mail in her bicycle. You can see the letters both of them are going to deliver. Just look at the letter the postman is holding in his right hand for more detail! In the set there is a postal box as well.

[Images taken from Playmobil®]