Everyone Can Make a Difference

Sophie - Cleveland, Ohio
Entered on May 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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At first, I didn’t think I would have any sort of connection with a girl who seemed so different. There was no way I could become friends with someone who appeared so opposite of me. Opposites couldn’t attract. They’d have nothing to talk about. Dianna and I were from different backgrounds, different cultures, and different worlds.

I am thirteen and have lived in Ohio for my whole life. I travel often, and I enjoy making new friendships. Going to Costa Rica was one of my most recent trips. I went with my school to work on some service projects. Dianna was one of the many kids I reached out to and talked to in Costa Rica.

I was forced to sit in the front seat next to these two sisters, Dianna and Anny. They joined our school group because they wanted to spend their holiday with their dad, the bus driver. At the time I did not want to sit away from my friends. I didn’t want to be put in an uncomfortable position and sit next to people I did not know.

I was wrong about the fact that Dianna and I were opposites. Despite the fact that I speak English and live in the United States, and she speaks Spanish and lives in Costa Rica, we have much in common. We are both shy at the beginning, but then we become talkative. We both also have the same sense of humor. We could talk to each other since I knew some Spanish.

The ride began in silence, but when we turned on High School Musical songs, the girls started singing the songs in English. I was surprised. I then got the guts to ask the girls questions in Spanish about High School Musical. This was the foundation of our new friendship.

Dianna is eleven, is shy at first, but then turns out to be so funny and caring. She comes from a wealthier family, with an older sister Anny, who I also became friends with on this trip.

On one of our last days with them, we went to the mall and played mini golf. We laughed our way through all eighteen holes, and ended up with some inside jokes and a handshake. We ate pizza and ice cream and told stories of our own country and school.

Then it was time to say goodbye. Dianna hugged me as if we were long lasting best friends. She started to cry, and I did to. I cried knowing this was the end to my new friendship. Not only was I sad to leave her, but seeing her cry, made it worse. We had to leave each other physically, but we promised to write letters. Not only will we keep in touch, but she impacted my life. I am not sure how, but she filled a part of my heart. This experience showed me that a friend can be someone I meet that same day or someone I’ve known forever.