Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sweet News from Chile


Years ago (37 to be exact) I traveled to Chile for the first time, where I would provide technical assistance to the statistics office there.  Unfortunately my luggage didn’t arrive until 3 days later.  That’s how I got to know Veronica.
She was by title the secretary of the AID office I reported to there.  But in truth she was a lot more than that.  She quickly took me under her wing and took me shopping in the trendy stores of Providencia.  I’m sure I also bought the other essentials to survive, but for many years I remembered Veronica when I wore my clothes from Chile.
We kept up for many years.  When I traveled to Chile, she would invite me over for dinner or take me down to her parents’ farm in the country.  At one point her husband had a contract that brought him to DC for a couple of months, so the family came along.  Her sister lived here for a year when he husband served as a diplomat from Chile.  But eventually we lost touch.  
When we decided to go to Chile in February, I determined to try to find Veronica.  I started searching online for anyone with her rather distinctive last name.  I came to learn through distant cousins that she and her first husband had divorced.  She was remarried and living in Houston.
Just today I managed to locate an email address for her new husband, who owns a small company that exports dried plums from Chile, or prunes as we know them.  I shot off an email figuring it might be days if he ever answered it.  
But instead within 10 minutes I had a response from my wonderful friend, who said they will be in Chile during January and February, when the plums are harvested.  I haven’t had a chance to ask all the many questions I have for her that will let me know what she has been doing for the last few decades.
I am so excited at the prospect of seeing her again, meeting her new husband, and maybe even visiting the plum farm, which I suspect is the same farm I visited so long ago. 

2 Comments:

Blogger Gary said...

How wonderful! I am sure you will enjoy the reunion.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Isn't the Internet amazing? It's so great you got in touch with her. I hope you have a terrific time, and be sure to write a post about seeing her again!

4:03 AM  

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