Some years ago I was working on a novel and needed to set a scene in an Indian orphanage. It wasn’t a big scene, but I wanted details to bring it alive. So one afternoon I went scrolling around Indian orphanage sites and one thing led to another and I wound up sponsoring a young woman named Rosie.  Rosie lives in a small village on the very northernmost part of India, close to Nepal. So she is physically about as far from me as it’s possible to be. And yet one thing I’ve discovered, as we’ve exchanged letters every month or so, is that we have so much to talk about.(Her English is excellent. Far better than my Hindi. I was taking Hindi classes for a while, and she was so supportive of me. Praying for my success, though those particular prayers were vain.) She is fascinated by the arrangements for my daughter’s wedding. She loves all the details about the dresses and the food. She’s also very well-read. What I find surprising is that so many of the books she reads are the same as the ones American girls her age are reading, such as Hunger Games. She is in some ways so similar to the girls I know and in some ways so different. She works on a farm. She had a terribly difficult beginning to her life. She’s had experiences I will never understand. But somehow this beautiful shining spirit comes through. For years, in almost every letter Rosie has sent, she’s asked when I will be coming to visit, and I always say I’d love to come, but it’s just so difficult. But this year, for my birthday, my oldest son said that if I wanted to go to India, he’d go with me. Joy! So, it’s going to take a lot of planning, but in a year or so you will be getting a picture of me on a farm, hugging my dear young friend. How about you? Where do you dream of going? (Note: If you’re interested in where Rosie lives, you can check out the site at

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