Friends for life...

Trip Start May 18, 2007
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13
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Trip End Jul 28, 2007


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Friday, June 15, 2007

Last Thursday, Doris (my "house mom") received a wonderful surprise when her friend from her graduation class, Teresa who now lives in Bógota, came to Arequipa for a one-day visit. They hadn't seen each other in over 30 years, but have remained in touch ever since graduation.

Doris organized, with all their other friends from the graduation class who normally meet every month, a little reunion at the house. So when I came home Thursday evening, I found the house full of laughter and happy chatter, as eight women were reminiscing and retelling stories of their school years at the catholic convent where they all went to school for twelve years.

The party was pot-luck style, so everyone brought a little something, and the main course was a succulent churrasco-style BBQ chicken with fries.

But the main surprise was for Teresa: all her friends had gotten together and hired a Mariachi for a couple of hours! The doorbell rang, and in came this Mexican Mariachi, fully decked out in black with lots of silver accessories (including an authentic-looking revolver), and of course, a giant sombrero. He sang, accompanying himself on the guitar, and entertained us all with songs that the ladies were requesting, from back in their schooldays. They all sang along (very well, I might add!) and kept coming up with more song requests.

It was really great to witness the friendship of all these women who, over the years, have chosen different paths but have remained great friends. Some are married with children, others are divorced, one is an executive, one a teacher, and several are housewives. They meet regularly, chat about the same things we chat about - work, their children, their husbands (or lack thereof), schools, health problems, social problems... One even shared with her friends her husband's infidelities, and the general opinion tended towards "forgive but don't forget!", while two others had a little debate over child-rearing techniques: too strict or too lenient...?

I felt quite privileged to be included in their conversation and reunion - they truly welcomed me with open arms, and open minds, and allowed me to learn a little bit more about Peruvian life along the way. I've even got a place to stay, if I ever decide to visit Columbia!
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