I sponsor a girl in India through a company called Unbound. It's very Christian, but also pretty amazing. (Those two things are in no way mutually exclusive but also Christian charities don't tend to be the ones I reach for cause I think those are already pretty well funded, as a general rule? I don't remember why I picked this particular one out of the crowd - I think because you could search for kids to sponsor based on a lot of very specific criteria and YES I PICKED SOMEONE WHO HAS MY BIRTHDAY. What's a little narcissism between sponsors and sponsees.)
(We asked for donations to them in lieu of gifts for our wedding, and we didn't realize that we had no way of knowing who donated, so ... if you came to our wedding and donated to Unbound, thank you!! I'm so sorry I didn't send you a proper card. They got your money which is what matters but also email me and I'll send you a card asap.)
My girl is in school, which I think I pay for? I dunno, you guys. She sends me letters at least twice year, and it's been ... two years since I've written back.
She says things about .. wells. And weather. And her siblings she shares uniforms and a single bedroom with. I love it. I also hate it a lot.
I just got a letter from her tonight, and it's the first one she's written in English herself, in case you're wondering where this is coming from.
I hate it because every time she writes to me, I get a blank letter to write back that Unbound will send for me, and as I mentioned, I never write back. I never write back, because what am I going to say? I have a dog who's epileptic and another who needs surgery next week (tell ya soon) and that's where most of my truly-insane-American disposable income goes? Like, you have seven siblings that I probably could sponsor but ... I sponsor only you because Maida needs her special meds? Or ... that's so great you got excellent marks in English! What do you want to do when you grow up? I use math to help companies decide who is most likely to spend money with them! I paid to race up a mountain for fun last weekend. I am binging Psych on my tv and Supernatural on my iPad. I saved up for a sweater than I've now owned for over a month and have only worn once, and I'm sorry to say I may forget about it by the time the appropriate temperatures roll around again. I am ridiculous.
The other part of the problem (aside from my ridiculousness) is that I don't really understand her day to day existence. I don't know if they have pets. Everyone in the world keeps dogs, right? Is that actually true? And I don't know what she thinks of a woman my age who hasn't had children. Maybe nothing! Maybe it seems fine and normal to her! Quite possibly I'm primitivizing her whole life for no good reason.
So my choices are:
She has some wacky understanding of my life - she's watched Friends and Sex and the City and just thinks I'm Monica and Charlotte smooshed together.
She totally gets everything and I'm overthinking this 100%.
She thinks I am a frivolous, terrible and basic bitch who should be more generous with all of my privilege and gifts.
I am the only 30s Western woman writing letters to someone in that school, they *don't* have tv, and everyone thinks I am the baseline.
Obviously the top half is good, the bottom half is bad.
Only #2 is even close to great.
I really am going to write her back this time though.