For this blog post, we interviewed one of our members (Yesenia M.) to learn a bit about our amazing members! You may remember her friendship story from several months back. Now, find out what Yesenia has to say about her background, her interests, and her other friendships through Interpals!
My name is Yesenia M. and I am a Mexican American who calls Los Angeles California home. I am 20 year old girl who craves adventure and wants to see change in the world. I am currently a student in the Bachelors of Science Social Work program at my university and I work full time at a delicious Korean restaurant. My Christian faith has given me new eyes to see and so much love to give. I come from a very hardworking and loving family. I have been raised by my incredible mother alongside my brother. Some interesting things to know about me are that I LOVE diversity. I love love love different cultures and I enjoy having friends from all over the world (which explains why I’m here). I am the least pickiest person alive and I will eat absolutely almost everything you give me! I’ve never had a boyfriend . I am open-minded and willing to try new things.
What are some of your favorite things?
My favorite book at the moment is called “Million Little Ways, A: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live” by Emily P. Freeman.
My favorite movie that inspired my trip to Costa Rica is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and also inspired my favorite quote “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.” ― James Thurber.
Which languages do you speak? Which languages are you anxious to learn?
I am fluent in English and Spanish. It has been SO helpful to know Spanish but it would be really great to learn Portuguese. Portuguese and Spanish have some what of the same root so I would love to learn it. Korean is another language I’d like to learn but I gave up.
What’s on your dream travel location list?
I don’t have “one exact” dream travel location, I have too many. I would love to be able to travel to meet some of my interpal friends: Brasil, Korea, Northern Ireland, Netherlands. :)
When did you join Interpals?
I joined interpals in 2010 as I casually found a pen pal website which I was SO eager to find. It was exactly what I was looking for, because Tumblr was so limited with pen pal posts.
Name a few of your favorite experiences through Interpals.
This is probably my favorite question to answer. Last year in May I had the opportunity to fly to Florida to visit my friend Claire (who was at the time working at Disney World as part of her internship placement from her Home university in Northern Ireland). After 3 years of friendship, skyping, facebook, WhatsApp, our friendship was becoming real. It was INSANE meeting her and we literally ran to each other as soon as we saw each other from a distance. Two months later I had the privilege of hosting her in LA and adventuring in LA and SF. This past month, once again, I had the honor of hosting my German friend Ida in my home in LA. I learned so much about her and about her culture. We had so much fun visiting tourist spots in LA and making a short trip to Mexico. We created beautiful memories that I will forever cherish.
What I most LOVE about this site is that you can meet absolutely anyone from any country. It connects two distinct people, and as you journey together you begin to find similarities. Interpals has truly blessed me with forever friendships that I am excited to continue to grow in.
What’s on your bucket list?
My bucket list is to go bungee jumping. Swim in the Indian Ocean. Dance to Samba in Brasil. Swing in Ecuador. Buy some clogs in Holland. See a million sunsets in every country I encounter. And continue to have the opportunity to meet interpal friends.
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned through Interpals?
Some important lessons: Friendships are as strong as you make them. Everything requires time and effort. Friendships only grow as much as you want them to. Many of my friendships from interpals remain strong but many have withered. Another lesson is to look through the other persons eyes. We live in a diverse world full of different ideologies and mindsets, and no one will ever be identical to one another. Its important to be willing to understand the other person and allow others to give you new perspectives in order to understand them. Life is such a beautiful gift that we could all learn to share.
If you invited all of the friends you’ve met through Interpals over for dinner, what kind of meal would you prepare?
If I invited all of the friends I’ve met through interpals for dinner I would prepare an authentic Mexican dinner. I would make some of my families delicious home-made corn tortillas . I would have a ton of different condiments from onion, tomato, celery, carrots, salsa, guacamole to make your own tacos. There would be a tone of different kinds of agua frescas which is homemade juice: watermelon, melon, and lemon. I would make my aunt’s famous Mexican cheesecake for dessert. All you can eat tacos
Do you have any funny stories?
Funniest thing that happened while meeting one of my interpal friends is definitely my encounter with my american friend Nicole whom I met at the airport in Costa Rica. It was our first time ever meeting and because we arrived on different flights we had to find each other once we got off. I was looking for the longest until I spotted a blonde-hair blue eye gal standing in the line to get through immigration. We both jumped and laughed while everyone starred at us in confusion as to why were were acting like 2 year-olds. As soon as she went past immigration she ran to me and we laughed so hard and kept saying “No. No. No. No way.” We had to calm ourselves down from the overload of excitement and come to our senses. It felt like the entire airport was starring at us but we were too excited to care.
I look for genuine people who are willing to be themselves and share with me a piece of their life. I am so enthralled by this idea of meeting people off interpals. There is something so beautiful in being able to share every part of you to someone who doesn’t know what your way of life is like. I also look for people who are willing to be dedicated and consistent in a friendship, because it needs to go both ways.
Is there anything you’d like others to know about you?
I would like people to know about my deepest desire: PEOPLE. I am so passionate about knowing people, and that is why I am on this site. Not only do I enjoy meeting people for the first time but I enjoy serving, helping, and giving my time. This is partially the reason to why I am pursuing a career in Social Work. I would love to continue making friendships and exploring and adventuring with anyone I can.
If you want to share YOUR friendship story, write to us via our Facebook page!