She had an older brother who could translate my letters in English to Dutch, but I had a dickens of a time finding someone in Long Beach who could translate hers to English for me. Below is just a part of a subsequent letter I received.
If I had to guess, I'd say that we probably corresponded for 18 months -- and then as we were going into our teen-age years, we lost contact with each other. But I kept all her letters and her sweet picture in my scrapbook.
When Jerry and I left Istanbul for home in 1993, we decided to spend a couple of months in a western country where English was spoken, as kind of a help to transition us from a rather unusual way of life in Turkey. We chose Holland mainly because England required incoming animals to be in quarantine for 6 months -- and we didn't want our cats to be subject to that.
I never expected to visit Holland so I hadn't brought my "Hannie" documents with me, but with determination I marched myself down to the main telephone office, asked to look in a Breskins phone book -- and lo, there was one lone Nicolai family, still living at the address where I'd sent those letters so many years before. To make a long story short, I found Hannie again; unfortunately she didn't speak English, probably one of the only people we found there who didn't. But she had a friend in Amsterdam (where we had settled) who contacted me and we arranged for a day together. Greta and I went to the train station where Hannie was arriving from Breskins and there she was, looking exactly like a grown-up version of her picture!
I have to admit that when we parted, the three of us cried. It was such a special and unforgettable connection, and in our heart of hearts we knew we would never see each other again.