WATCH: Pen pals meet each other in person after 33 years

Published: Jun. 5, 2022 at 12:37 PM EDT
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HUDSON, Ohio (WEWS) – It was a meeting decades in the making when two pen pals, from Ohio and Brazil, were finally able to meet each other in person.

Tania Nemer was in a nearly empty airport after several delayed flights, holding onto souvenirs from a long friendship.

“This is the guide to her city,” she said. “So, she wanted me to see what her city is like and she put little notes in them.”

The guides and letters have been connecting Nemer with Jorgette Vitorino over a 5,000 mile distance.

“We’ve been writing each other since 5th grade, so it’s been about, I’m going to age myself 33 years,” Nemer said.

The penpals met each other when Nemer was in the Copley Fairlawn School District in Ohio.

“Ms. McGarvey from Copley, she was the one who said, we need to broaden our horizons and let’s connect with a school in Brazil, and I’m going to pair you up and connect you,” Nemer said.

The two finally connected in person on Saturday.

“It was amazing to finally arrive,” Vitorino said.

The connection between the two was made very clear.

“There were so many parallels in our lives,” Vitorino said.

Both women always shared a love of writing, and their birthdays were just days apart. They both grew up to become attorneys, raise families and never lose touch.

“What I think is so special is you can have so many wonderful feelings for a person you have never seen before,” Vitorino said.

The whirlwind trip for Vitorino and her husband includes a scavenger hunt around Hudson.

The friends plan on exploring northeast Ohio together as they prove that friendship can spark through letters, span continents and last years.

“Good people are everywhere and she’s really one of them,” Nemer said.

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