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Message in a bottle found in B.C. inspires international friendship

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Metchosin, B.C. -

Lisa Amorim is no stranger to experiencing the unexpected in the ocean.

When she’s not being surprised by whales breaching near her kayak, Lisa’s paddling around taking pictures of sea lions, bald eagles, and baby seals.

“I love seeing the wildlife,” Lisa says.

While it’s not unusual for her to spot a blue heron perched on bull kelp, seeing a bottle bobbing about beside her is.

“I pulled it out to investigate,” Lisa laughs. “And it was a letter inside.”

An actual message in a bottle, which seemed surreal.

“You hear about it on the news,” Lisa says, still in disbelief. “But you don’t actually have it happen to you.”

The note was hand-written with pen on a paper towel by a grandmother who had been visiting Canada from Germany. She included her contact information.

So Lisa from Victoria reached out through email to Jutta in Sandersdorf.

“Oh I was so happy,” Jutta Ebert says via Zoom and translated from German to English.

Jutta says she originally sent the message in a bottle to make a lasting memory with her granddaughter. She never expected to make a lasting friendship with a stranger.

“I’m very happy about the friendship with Lisa,” Jutta says. “We can tell each other something about our lives.”

For the past four years Lisa and Jutta have regularly communicated on Facebook through translation apps.

“I don’t speak German,” Lisa says. “But it works.”

It works so well, Lisa wrote her own letter — and included it with Jutta’s in a new bottle she sent to sea — inviting whoever finds it next to connect with them both.

“If it can help someone brighten their day,” Jutta says. “It’s all the better.”

“Maybe we can build a worldwide chain of friendship,” Jutta smiles.

While being surprised by whales in the water is fleeting, finding a friendship through a bottle is enduring.

“Friends are like stars,” Jutta says. “You don’t always see them, but they’re always there.” 

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