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midweek Connect: 3/3/21 ~ Pen-pals and more!

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

Greetings and Happy Midweek,

I hope March has started out smoothly for you. I've been enjoying getting mail recently which was held up over the holidays. So this week I thought we'd talk about different cultural ‘letter writing as communications’ practices.

Part of our HOST dimension perspectives, in Global SKILLs 3 Dimensional Dynamics training, focuses on communication activities people in our host communities use. We explore what these are, how they might be different from what we are familiar with and how we can perhaps participate in them.

I experienced one form of letter writing used widely in pre-literate societies while living among the Jola people in Senegal. This involved traveling ‘letter writers’ who were literate and in fact often had quite a literary flair, making their services available - for a fee, of course. People in the villages would have their letters written, they would then sign them (often with their ‘mark’ rather than a signature) and the missive would then be posted.

Taking a bit of a broader view of letter writing equivalents, we also became part of the local rural "grape vine" (spoken transmission) by sharing news as we traveled from village to village, and even as we visited far flung neighborhoods of our village.

How about you ~ what kind of cross cultural ‘letter writing’ are you doing lately? Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out several more thoughts on this topic below in Global SKILLs LINKs.

Until next week,



~ This is a cool site for the history of letter writing, and a myriad of other cross-disciplinary timelines:

~ Ever hear of the practice of “locking letters” way back when…here’s how these treasures are now being ‘read’ without even opening them:

~ Interesting to see how contemporary business has co-opted the very traditional form of communication, “getting the memo” - which could be considered one abbreviated type of letter writing:

2021 ~ Celebrating 40 years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

Connecting, Collaborating, Cultivating Community

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