A nine-year-old Pitt Meadows, B.C. girl has a new pen pal in northern Alberta, after the unlikely 1,300-kilometre journey of a bundle of get well balloons.
The whole thing started last week when Alisha Koubi’s daughter Eliana broke her arm at summer camp.
The ordeal was severe enough that the company Koubi works for sent the child a basket of chocolate strawberries and a bouquet of heart-shaped get well balloons, with a card attached.
Koubi said Eliana loved the balloons so much she wanted to keep them with her, even while celebrating her grandma’s birthday outdoors on Sunday.
That’s when fate intervened, and the bouquet escaped the family’s back deck.
“I told Eliana, and she was upset, and we kind of went to bed thinking kind of about those balloons, hoping they ended up somewhere safe,” said Koubi.
Two days later, Koubi got a phone call from an Alberta area code, but let it go to voicemail thinking it was probably spam.
“It was a woman named Doreen. She was introducing herself and saying something about her brother’s field and balloons,” she said.
“I thought it must have been a wrong number; I didn’t put two and two together.”
It wasn’t until the caller passed on a message of “get well soon” that it clicked.
“The hairs on my arms stood up, I realized she was talking about our balloons that had gone missing at some point, and that they had made it all the way to … far north Alberta,” she said.
“They crossed the Rockies, they passed forest fires … and landed perfectly in her field.”
In fact, the balloons had landed Doreen’s brother’s field in Falher, Alta, about 430 km northwest of Edmonton.
Thanks to the get well card and delivery tag on the bundle, she had been able to get in touch with the B.C. family.
That night, Koubi and Eliana phoned Doreen back.
“She was so excited that we had actually called her back, and she wanted to express how cool it was that she found those balloons and that they had landed perfectly as if they were placed there,” she said.
The Alberta family is now putting together a little care package to send to Eliana, including the remains of the far-ranging balloons and their strings as a memento.
Eliana told Global News she liked the idea of having some pen pals in the neighbouring province.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” she said.
As for how she’ll handle her next round of balloons to make sure they stay put?
“I’ll put a brick on them,” she said.
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