Two years ago, my high school penpal from Japan, Senzo Araki, found me on Facebook. We had exchanged letters for 5 years, but we lost touch in 1967 – my fault entirely. It is entirely due to his diligence that we were able to reconnect, and have a rather miraculous meeting this week.
Earlier this year Senzo emailed me and invited me to come to Hawaii for his daughter’s wedding, and to finally meet him face to face, and I did that last night, when I went out to dinner with Senzo and his wife, Yoriko. Senzo is very fluent in English, and he kindly credits that in part to my letters and lessons over the years that we did correspond.
Senzo brought some memorabilia with him: and a letter I had written to him in 1964, along with the taped version. I listened to it later – I gave him pronunciation lessons, a grammar lesson (present & past-perfect tenses!) and some information about Canadian culture and customs.
He also brought some photos from 1962. (Gee, I looked a lot younger then!)
Today, I was honored to attend Senzo and Yoriko’s daughter’s wedding. It took place in a beautiful chapel at the Sheraton Waikiki, overlooking the ocean.
I will have more time to chat with Senzo at dinner tonight, and a chance to meet with his whole family tomorrow.
It’s been a lifetime since we started our friendship, and we have a lot to catch up on.
But now, with Facebook and email, we can do so a lot more easily, and I have promised him that I will do my best to keep him up-to-date in the future!