Today, I met a beautiful Indonesian woman, with silky black hair, an olive complexion, and smiling brown eyes. She was full of laughter and mischief, and I was immediately drawn to her. We made small talk for a while and then in her broken English, she shared with me how she came to be living and working in such a small, quiet town in north Georgia. She giggled as she described her adventure as the mail-order bride for two suitors. For the sake of her privacy and our new friendship, I will call her Hope.
Hope was born and raised in Indonesia. In 1985, at the age of 27, while working for an import-export company, she picked up the local newspaper and found an advertisement for an international pen-pal program. Hope wanted to improve her English, so she answered the ad thinking the correspondence would help her learn the language. Nothing came of it and as time passed, Hope forgot about it.
Two years later, a letter came from an organization called The Asian Chronicle Experience saying they had published Hope’s photograph. Soon after, the letters started coming; hundreds of them, from places like Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. There was no way to answer them all, so Hope chose 7 of the most interesting letters from the US and began her quest to learn the language.
…to be continued.