Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Letter

As we approach our final days at the internat, it feels more and more like crunch time. I decided that before I left I wanted to write Hanna a letter. Without reciting its entire contents, my letter essentially explained how I knew I could never understand her whole life, and I know we haven't become great friends over my stay here... but despite everything she did to keep me away, what she really did was make me want to try harder. I also wanted her to know that I would go back to Canada and remember her and talk about her, not just for her giving me a hard time, but for the determination she instilled in me during my stay. So, I gave my letter to Orest who translated it and we were on our way.

When we went to give her the letter, she was very reluctant to come with me so we could be somewhere more private. SHe was saying she was busy listening to music, and ignored us by talking to her friends and turning her back to us. Eventually she caved under peer pressure from her friends to come with me...but they were all very interested in what was going to happen so it became more difficulkt to find privacy. When Orest read the letter to her (because she is illiterate) she seemed surprised and ust listened. Immediately afterward she did not say much in front of me, but left with the letter in hand and laughed in the hall. SHe went back to her classroom, and I thought that was that.

At this point I was feeling again like I had done my part, and as Orest and I made our way outside was surprised to find that Hanna had come back. She did not have any response to the letter still, but simply asked Orest and I a few questions then sat with us outside as we worked on another translation project. It was nothign fancy schmancy, but it was a deal in itself that she came to hang out by me of her own accord.

Since then she pays more attention to me, not necessarily talking to me, but noticing me as I do things and where I go. She gave me the finger when I went to go talk to her the other day, but I think this was more od a joke than anything else. Orest commented that he thinks the letter meant more to her then she lets on, and that she'll keep it.

Another interesting thing to comment on, is that another girl at the internat, named Ivanka, who in the past had never given me a hard time, is now giving me the finger and shooing me away the way Hanna started out. I am not sure if I started a bad trend amongst the girls where they think they will get special attention if they try to bug us... but it is ust something I have noticed.

I am not sure exactly what Hanna thinks of me still, and don't think I will ever come to this realization. But what I do know is that I was honest with her, and hope she can come away from this experience at least understanding my side of the story better.