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Dr Joseph Young of Village Eye Care has shared letters written by students in Honduras with Hawley Elementary School students, who originally wrote letters for the Honduran students last school year.
In April, Dr Young visited with Hawley students to have them write letters for children he would visit in the town of La Florida in the Opatoro, La Paz, region of Honduras. Dr Young was one of a number of doctors who traveled to the area in May to provide medical care with the Community Health Partnership Honduras (CHPH).
While he was in Honduras, students there wrote letters to return to the Hawley students. Since a new school year is underway, Dr Young dropped the letters off at both Hawley and at Reed Intermediate School, where last year’s Hawley fourth graders are now fifth graders.
This week Dr Young explained there is no postal service to La Florida.
“They had never even seen a letter,” Dr Young reflected. “One morning after the mission arrived, the students gathered in the small school yard and were given the letters from the Newtown children. The letters were addressed to them personally. There were large smiles and not a few tears. They marveled that there were children in another part of the world that were thinking of them. Later in the week, I saw one young boy writing in a notebook while quietly sitting in a corner of the Medical Clinic. I asked, ‘Es una carta para los ninos de Newtown?’ [Or]”Is that a letter for the Newtown children?”
Dr Young said the student nodded, shyly.
“I told him that I would personally deliver his letter. He started crying and ran off gripping his letter tightly. I hand delivered that letter to Hawley School as promised. The thought that there are others who think of them is a powerful one. The wish to extend friendship and love through a simple letter is a true act of kindness. So many letters ended with the simple phrase, ‘Con amor.’ ‘With love,’” Dr Young said in an e-mail.
Dr Young delivered the letters to Hawley on September 20.
“It’s a great project for kids starting to learn a second language,” Dr Young said. “ I’m proud of the fact that Newtown has recognized the importance of being bilingual.”
Dr Young’s hope is to have responses from the Newtown students ready to deliver with CHPH’s scheduled October brigade, which will return to the area to provide medical care to the new pen pals.