I have an Italian penpal. Or, as he might say, "un amico per corrispondenza." (Okay, he probably wouldn't say that, but that's what my online dictionary told me was the translation for "penpal.")
I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow an Italian photo-blogger whose work I've admired for awhile found this here blog, and he wrote me a note. Since then, I've been bravely testing my Italian out on him, and he's very forgiving of all the mistakes I'm making! For instance, I was trying to comment on a photograph he'd taken of some carved Halloween pumpkins... Let's just say the words for "pumpkin" and "sugar" are remarkably similar in Italian, and I'm sure he got a good laugh out of it... I certainly did when he pointed it out! (Because, come on - can you imagine trying to carve a face into sugar?!?)
Anyway, I'm really pleased, as it gives me a chance to practice Italian in a way I don't usually get - writing - and it's clear that I need the practice. It takes me ages to write three paragraphs. In addition, he's a nice guy who takes some beautiful pictures. Who knows, I might actually feel competent with Italian someday.