Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day isn't typically celebrated in Bolivia. In fact, they have their own "Day of Friendship and Love" on July 23. Regardless, Valentine's Day is on my mind and inspired me to write the story of how Mauricio and I met and began dating.

During the summer of 2006 I went on a mission trip to a Christian school and organization in Trinidad, Bolivia. I became friends with some of the older students and briefly met another of their classmates, Mauricio, though I didn't know his name at the time.

In July of 2007 I took another trip to Trinidad. On my second day I stopped to talk with a group of friends in the lunch room and Mauricio happened to be among them.

I distinctly remember hearing his laugh and thinking that I would do anything to hear it again. I quickly forgot all about it.

A few weeks later we both attended a bonfire with his graduating class. It was a magical night with dancing and lots of laughter. But we sat on opposite sides of the fire and danced with other people. I do remember our eyes catching a few times through the fire though.

On August 9 I received a text message in the middle of the night from someone wanting to talk to me. I had no idea who it was, even after he told me that his name was Mauricio. I told him that I was trying to sleep and put my phone on silent.

But he was persistent and continued trying to talk to me... during lunch, at Church, on the phone, on the street. At first I wasn't very interested in talking to him, but as time passed I found myself enjoying it.

At the end of August I returned to the United States for university, but we spoke on the phone regularly throughout the year.

In May of 2008 I went back to Bolivia and met Mauricio's mom and entire family. We spent the summer in separate cities but he came to visit a few times.

On August 9, 2008 he took me out for ice cream and asked me to be his novia. I, of course, said yes.

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