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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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