Tag Archives: Spain

Day 127: María

Day 127-2I met María in 1998 when I was sent to Madrid on a business trip. Working for my company as a public relations manager, María was one of my favorite colleagues.

Now 17 years later we remain in touch. She occasionally goes to New York and we tried to meet up last year, but it didn’t work. And I’ve been talking to my Dad about traveling to Spain – a place that he says that he’d like to visit. But that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe this year will prove successful.

Today is her birthday – Feliz cumpleaños María!

Day 127

(translated from Spanish)

Dear María,

Happy birthday! I hope that you have a wonderful day. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve been friends now for 17 year. I’m sorry that I’m so terrible at writing – that’s part of the reason I started the Year of Letters, to be better at maintaining contact with the people that are important in my life.

I hope that this year we are able to get together – either NYC or Madrid?

A big hug,


Day 105: Domi Sanchez y Familia

Valladolid-spain-mapSpring semester of my junior year in college I studied abroad in Valladolid, Spain. A mostly industrial town in the northwest of Spain, Valladolid is quintessential Castilla y Leon. The Spanish spoken here does fair justice to its heritage and arguably is the heart of this beautiful country.

I lived with a nice family who regularly took in exchange students. Their 6th floor apartment was just across the Pisuerga River from the downtown. It sounds far, but I walked to the city center every day to go to class.

I lost touch with the family but this spring marks 20 years since my stay there and I figured it was about time to find them. I knew I had kept a letter from their oldest son, Pako (yes, spellcheck, he spelled it with a “k”), which I had received about a year after returning to the U.S. I found it this morning and decided to drop them a letter. Hopefully they still live in the same place.

I’ve translated the letter below.

Day 105-4

I included a recent photo of me with my Dad.


Dear Domi,

I hope that this letter finds you well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in touch – I’m lazy to write and even more so in Spanish.

When I finished my University studies I moved to Washington, DC. There is more opportunity to find work here and it’s also very close to my brother (and his wife and two daughters). My father still lives in Pennsylvania – in the same house where I lived as a child. My mother died in 2006 – she had heart trouble for many years – even before I stayed with you.

Day 105-3-2

Pako’s letter from 2006

I haven’t gotten married and don’t have any kids that I am aware of 🙂  I have a consulting company that helps people and companies improve their strategic communication. I used to travel a lot, especially to Latin America – I lived in Brazil for three yeas from 2003-2005. I’ve been back to Spain – but just to Madrid and Barcelona for work.

How are you all doing? Mr. Manuel, Pako, Manolo? I’ve tried from time to time to find you all on the internet but failed. This morning I found a letter that Pako wrote to me in 1996 and it had your address – I had forgotten it.

Well, I hope that you are all well. It would be a great to hear back from you.

A big hug,
Jason Reed Sandridge

P.S. Sorry for my Spanish – I don’t get to practice it much anymore and I’m forgetting it.

Day 97: Reyes

Postcards that Reyes sent me from her travels through the south of France.

Postcards that Reyes sent me from her travels through the south of France.

Buenos dias! I lived in Valladolid, Spain 20 years ago as part of an exchange program between Indiana University of Pennsylvania and La Universidad de Valladolid. It was a fantastic experience. I lived with a host family while I was there, studied a little bit, explored the city and had a girlfriend for a while too: Reyes.

We’ve stayed in touch on and off for many years – with Facebook it makes it a lot easier. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a nice handwritten note from her along with some post cards from the south of France recently.

I should have written to her in Spanish – but I was feeling a bit lazy this morning and besides, she’s living in London, so English is fair game!

Day 97- Reyes

Day 97- Reyes-2Dear Reyes,

It was so nice to receive your note and beautiful post cards from the south of France. I’ve actually been there about 8 or 9 years ago. It was amazing. Winding through the countryside, you find the most breathtaking little villages.

I know you love France – how about the U.K.? I don’t remember how long you’ve been in London. I’ve really only been to London twice, so I don’t feel that I know it very well. Didn’t you spend some time in Ireland? I love it there.

Thanks to social media we are still in touch 20 years later – but there is nothing like receiving a handwritten note from someone you care about. Thank you and stay in touch.