Sunday, June 19, 2011

Letter #192 from France

Letter #192 comes from Stéphanie in France. (Yes,I just figured out how to make an accent mark...I'm so proud of!)

She started off her letter with the thought about how technology is changing our lives each and every day.She recalls the days of big mobile phones (my friend's dad had one of those big ones and I remember thinking it was so cool).Computers were mainly used in businesses/hospitals,etc.People didn't have computers in their houses until the mid-late '90's.Stéphanie recalls when her family got their very first computer....she won it in a school lotto and she was beyond thrilled since they had just started to become popular.She screamed and jumped with excitement.I think I would,too  if I was a kid winning something so spectacular.It seems like kids have so many things these days that it would be no big deal to win something because everybody already has all the latest technology,so I don't think things are appreciated as much as when I was little.Maybe others can relate with me on that or is it just me?

She told us about how her son will never know a life without technology since he was born in the technological age.Even though her son is only three years old,she feels that he understands how to use the technology more than she does. :)

Stéphanie grew up in Auch,France,which is a little country town in the south of France,near Toulouse.Life there was quiet for her and she thought that all she wanted in life was to live in a small town,take long walks with a husky dog,raise three children and write books for a living.That sounds like such a sweet and simple life.Now,if she was to tell you what's important to her,it would be books.She has had a passion for books ever since she came across a 12th century Bible at her local library.She recalls it was hand copied,with beautiful,colorful illustrations in the margin.At that moment,she then decided that she either wanted to be a librarian or a publisher (while still writing books,of course).She hasn't been able to live her dream of writing and may never do so.I would just like to say that I don't think that anybody should ever give up on any of their dreams.Don't deprive others of your talents.I am always so sad when I see talented people do things that don't make them happy.It may take a long time to make money off your talent,but I'm sure you will eventually, if you don't give up.Yes,you may have to write your story late at night after work,but if that's what brings you happiness,why not stay up late.Isn't it worth it to say that you lived life on earth doing what made you happy?When our children don't see us trying to live our dreams,they will only repeat what they see us do.I know I am guilty of this,too since I feel like I don't have enough time,but you know what,I need to start making the time so that I can be an example for my kids to show that you should never give up.

Stéphanie has also come up with a great idea that she is doing for her son.She has decided to write him a letter every year.She is undecided,though when she should give him the letters.She thought about saving them for after her death but then thought that he might have questions about what she wrote and she wouldn't be there to answer the questions for him.She thinks maybe she will save the letters for a special day like his wedding day and hope that he doesn't throw them out.I think it's such a wonderful idea and great way for her son to know more about his mom and how she was feeling throughout his life.I used to write letters to my daughters,but stopped a few months ago,but now I am motivated to start doing it again.I think it's such a great thing that our kids can look back on after we are gone.I hope that the letters will bring smiles to their faces instead of sadness.Like she says,most people don't know who they are or where they came from,so  you can tell your kids all these things about them in letters,so in case you die before they are older,at least they will have the letters to help them solve some of their questions about themselves.

Stéphanie considers herself a citizen of the world  because she loves food and loves to try foods from other countries.She says that you can understand a lot about a country through its food.It's a good way to open yourself to other cultures.She has even gotten her son to try different foods so that he will be open to things that are different from what he is used to so that it won't be such a shock.She has also tried to get him to watch cartoons in different languages.I think it's such a wonderful thing she is doing to try to expose her son to such a variety of ethnicities.Our world is growing and yet becoming so small (thanks to the internet) that I think being exposed to other cultures at a young age is needed so kids don't grow up to be ignorant or afraid of others that they don't know.

Stéphanie has written so much more that was so interesting to read,but it's just too much to type here,so now I will share with you some facts that she shared with us about France.

Population:  65.8 million
Motto: Liberté,égalité,fraternité
Language: French,with local languages such as basque,corse,breton,alsacieu,etc.
School: compulsory from 6-16 years old
Currency: Euro (used to be the "franc")
Capital city: Paris

She says that if she remembers correctly,more than 50% of the working population earn less than 1300Euro/month for a full time job.

Alsace is known for its road of wines as seen on a postcard she included.

Stéphanie has included so many goodies with her lovely letter (written on cute stationery from LaPapierre),such as postcards,clippings from magazines,stamps (one of our fave things to collect),recipes,and ticket stubs.Thanks Stéphanie for your lovely letter and goodies that can be seen below: (you should be able to click the pictures to see them bigger)


  1. Greetings from Malaysia. I am Bree and I am doing a project which is about exchanging collectors item such as stamps and philately, postcards and bookmarks from around the world. However, my main focus is stamps and philately because I am a stamp collector. I saw your blog and I am hoping that you can support my little project. Please do reply my comment. Thank you.

  2. You've already been in contact with my daughter and you both agreed to be penpals,so she will be the one helping you out with your project.


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