Feb 16, 2011

Adventures in America

by Kami Cornwall

Hey! It's my turn! Let me tell you about something that I've been very excited about.

22 years ago I was given a little piece of paper with the name, "Christina Nienstedt" in my German class. It was my first pen-pal and my assignment was to work on writing in German. I soon found out that "Chrissi" knew English really well and so... my German fell by the wayside.

We wrote off and on for a few years and then the wonderful invention of e-mail came into play and we were writing much more often. Chrissi moved from Berlin to Hanover and vacationed around Europe, often sending me pictures of famous monuments. She married Peter and has been trying for 8 years to have a baby...with no luck.

Chrissi and Peter love all things Americana. They view America through the eyes of the T.V. shows played there like E.R., the Simpsons, Twin Peaks, and CSI. (She asked me recently if I decorate my home the way the Griswolds did in the movie.) Last year they vacationed in Las Vegas, rented a car, and drove down route 66, making their way through California and Utah. They experienced a county fair in some small town and loved it.

Last night I got an e-mail from Chrissi that said, "I had a new American experience." They're back in Las Vegas today.) She had severe abdominal cramps and had to call 911. She was surprised how fast the ambulance got there and was rushed to the E.R. She said it was "just like being on the t.v. show" and as it turns out...she's pregnant! The pain was from an ovarian cyst which had burst but the good news is that she's going to be okay. I am so relieved!

The other good news is that they are planning to come visit me here in Washington this summer. This decision came about because she found my blog one day, read all of the entries, and sent me an e-mail saying, "I can't believe how much we have in common! Why haven't we been writing more often?" The power of the written word, my friends. Because of my blog, my pen-pal of 22 years is going to come face-to-face with me for the first time! I'll get to be the person who takes her to Snoqualmie where Twin Peaks was filmed, and maybe she'll even catch our annual Lentil Festival here in Pullman. I can't wait!


  1. Kami! That is very exciting! I am excited for your friend, Chrissi, too...and I don't even know her. I hope and pray that her pregnancy goes well and that her baby is healthy and strong.

    The written word is powerful. Thank you for sharing!

  2. That's really exciting! It's fun when things like that happen. Maybe next time you can visit her. :)

  3. That is exciting. I vote for a chance to visit her in Europe.

  4. How cool! I love it when I get the chance to meet my internet friends, as we always end up getting along so well. I'm sure this will be a fun visit, and I'm happy to hear about her pregnancy.

  5. Very cool Kami. Have a great time with your penpal friend.

  6. That is so exciting! I wish I had done a better job of keeping in touch with my pen pal. I also vote you get a chance to visit her in Europe soon. BTW, I don't know how big Pullman is, but do you know the Miskins? I went to college with their oldest, Jenifer. Anywho...

  7. That is awesome, Kami. How exciting for you both!

    P.S. Lentil Festival? Really?

  8. I love you story. I have a German pen-pal, Marianne, we've been writing for 30 years. When I was 18 I spent a week with her at her family home. I'm so excited Chrissi is coming to visit you.

    -Nicole White


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