Subject: Peru - Claudia
Bart, I started coming to Peru four years ago.
The company I worked before did consulting
to the mining industry, and sometimes we had
projects in South America.
About five years ago one of my friends who worked
there was sent to a city in southern Peru
called Arequipa to do some field work at a copper
mine for about three months.
While he was there he met a woman who would eventually
become his wife. After he returned from
that trip, he told me his girlfriend had a friend
- Claudia - there in Arequipa who would like to exchange
emails with one of his friends. I told
him she could write to me if she wanted to, as I didn´t have
much of a social life, and a few minutes to write
to a Peruvian girl seemed like the thing to do.
We exchanged emails for a while - simple stuff
like how old are you, what do you do, do you
have any pets, etc. A few months later
I had the opportunity to tavel to Chile. After that job
was done, I decided to go to Arequipa on the
return. I met Claudia at the airport, and I fell in
love with her that minute. She was only
seventeen, incredibly beautiful, and she didn´t speak english.
I was 47, and I didn´t speak spanish.
That made for a very interesting visit, I assure you.
Over the past several years I have returned to
Peru many times to visit her, and on business trips.
Our relationship evolved to where she is essentially
my Peruvian daughter. Her father died about ten
years ago, so the evolution seemed natural.
She is always needing to buy something, or has some kind
of medical problem, so I have had to send her
a bit of cash over the years. (I never layed a hand on her,
though at first I was fool enough to think that
she sould be attracted to someone three times her age.)
I started to practice Spanish from that first
visit to Arequipa, because that was the only way I was
going to be able to communicate with her.
I had studied french in high school and college, so making
the transition to spanish was relatively easy.
At the present time, I consider myself conversational
but no fluent. That takes a lot more time.
The attached photos are of Arequipa with the
volcanic peak El Misti, and Claudia last fall.
Ron in Lima
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