Guess who got a letter from Sa today!
I included both the Bengali and the English versions of the letter. For those of you who are curious, the “CR” on the top right is a code for “Child Required.” This is Sa’s yearly letter and not a response to anything I’ve sent him recently. Hopefully I’ll be receiving those soon!
If you have trouble reading the handwriting, this is what it says:
Dear Miss ______,
I pay my respect to you at first. Hope you and your family are well. I and my family are all fine. I am in Standard 10. I enjoyed a lot on 15 August. We enjoy on every year this day. Our country got Independent on this day. National flag is hoisted in clubs and sweets are distributed. In our organization, flag is hoisted. We decorate the photo of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose with flowers. I thank you a lot and convey my love to you.
Your loving child,
On the same day I received a letter from Sa, I also received one from Su. The handwriting should be easy to read in this one, but I’ll put the text in anyway.
Dear Miss ______,
First of all I convey my hearty love and best wishes. Hope you are doing well. We are all fine. I read in Grade VII. I like to play games apart from my studies. You would be glad to know I am learning to write letter in computers. It is monsoon now and it is raining heavily. The roads and fields are waterlogged. The young ones catches fish with fishing rod and the elder people catches with net. I love to see it. Pineapple, palm, jackfruit, etc are available in this season. Love and thanks to you. Stay well.
Today I went to my online account to learn that Sa has left the sponsorship program. According to the organization, I’m going to get a letter explaining why in the mail soon, but it stings all the same. I just hope he’s moving on to something better than he had before rather than a rash decision by his parents. His mother seemed to have a good head on her shoulders, but I’d never heard about his father. I wish I could have done more for him.
I will be able to write him one last letter, so I’m copying down his information before it is taken off my account. The online letter-writing has been disabled for him, so I will have to write it by hand. I don’t know what to say or even how to say it with the information given, but I’ll think of something.
They plan to send me a new child to sponsor, but even if I wanted to, it’s not currently possible for me financially. I couldn’t really see replacing him that quickly anyway.
Today I received the letter I mentioned detailing the reason for Sa’s departure. Fortunately, it’s all good news. Sa’s family is doing well enough for themselves now that they no longer require sponsorship to help him. The community where he lives now has access to government hospitals and schools, and there’s a free health clinic where he can go to get treatment if he gets sick. I have no doubt his life is still going to be difficult, but he has a better chance than he did when I began sponsoring him. I am satisfied with that.
He will still receive sponsorship benefits through the end of the year and all mail I send him will be forwarded until the end of January. I want to send him more than one letter, but I feel like one will be enough. I may post it here once I finish.
This is my goodbye letter to Sa. Normally, I don’t post my side of the correspondence here, but I felt this one would be important.
When I began sponsoring you in 2008, I didn’t know what to expect. You were my first sponsorship. All I knew was that I wanted to help you and your family. Now, three years have passed and you have grown into a fine young man. It saddens me to know that you will no longer be receiving sponsorship benefits very soon. I am happy that you and your family have a chance for a better life now that your situation has changed, but I wish I could be there to see it.
I did not write to you as much as I should have over these past three years and I know you have read my apologies before. However, allow me to apologize again. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you as much as I could have been, but your parents have done an excellent job in helping you become the person you are. I know they will continue to do so. Still, I wish I could have been a better friend to you than I was. I will leave it at that.
Because of you, I began to help other children in your situation. One of them, I only write letters of encouragement to. The other two, I sponsor through this program. I hope you don’t think this means I thought about you less. In fact, it has been quite the opposite. Everything I have done for them I also did for you. Whenever I decided it was a good time to write letters, I made sure I included you in my list. I promised myself I would not favor one child over the other, but please know you will always hold a special place in my heart because you were the first.
Whatever may happen in the rest of your life, please be well. Know that I am proud of you and that is never going to change. Work as hard as you can and your situation will improve, I promise. You deserve all of the happiness in the world and I hope you get it. Please tell your parents I also wish them well. They deserve that happiness too.
I guess this is where I have to say goodbye. I wish it wasn’t the case, but there’s nothing I can do about it. Goodbye, Sa. Be safe, be healthy, and be happy. I will miss you more than you think.
Your loving sponsor,
I finally received a letter from N after the ones I sent her! If you can’t read the handwriting, here’s what it says:
I am happy to get your letter and know about you. I am glad to know you will go to college to get more degree. Please accept my best wishes. Now my annual exams are going on. I will be promoted to grade seven. Yes, I also want to be a teacher. Thank you very much for your help.