Are Peru and Romania at Peace?

February 2, 2009

I had two favorite volunteers. Actually there are about a dozen favorite volunteers, but don’t tell the others, they might be jealous.


One of my favorites is Mary from Peru. I don’t know if John from Peru whose father named him John instead Juan because he like American movies (just as Mary’s father named her Mary because he likes American movies, has taken a class from Mary. We will have to live in suspense for a while.


In my last class a volunteer named Edwin showed up. Edwin is also from Peru. He assured me that Edwin is a Hispanic name and that not all Peruvians give their children Anglo names because they like American movies. Perhaps it is time for American parents to start watching Peruvian movies and using them as an inspiration for naming children yet to be conceived. I will put Edwin and Mary in touch because why not?


My other favorite volunteer is S from Romania. She is very cute, but I didn’t pay too much attention to that because a) I have been married to Mrs. Random for 43 years and she is also very cute and b) S has been married to F from Romania. Although I have not met F yet, I am sure he considers S very cute.


F works for Microsoft, so I am sure he is very intelligent. F & S went from Romania to Canada. In Canada S worked as a technical writer. F got an H1-A Visa because Microsoft wanted to hire him. S did not. Many of the volunteers I work with are wives of people who work for big companies such as Microsoft and Boeing. Many of these couple come from countries such as India, Bulgaria, and Romania. In  many cases the wife has as much education and talent as the husband. In almost every case I knew, the husband had a H1-A Visa and the wife did not. As the highly intelligent wives were often bored and restless, many of them became volunteers for the library. If this phenomenon is an example of rampant sexism, I don’t know, but if it waddles like a sexist pig, and quacks like a sexist pig…

I am uneasy at times about using names. There are so many Mary’s around, who will notice another? But I am not sure about S & F, so I am sticking to initials.


S was a very talented volunteer and a very good teacher. She is also very intelligent and hard-working. She applied for several jobs. In each case the choice came down to S from Romania and an American candidate. It was always easier to hire the American candidate rather than the Romanian woman who would need to be sponsored for an H1-A Visa.

S was a very good volunteer. She said she learned a lot about teaching from me, so my vanity was tickled. She was very patient and kind with beginning students. Like one of my daughter’s best friends who is Finnish, she has a bit of an accent, but her English on the whole is better than many Americans. I forget how many languages she speaks.

Like Mary, S is very hard working and disciplined. She is also very intelligent. Sometimes I had technical questions about matters over my head and asked her for help. She always came through.


She decided to go back to school to get a graduate degree so she would have a better chance to get a job. I have not been much in touch with her since she went to graduate school, but I did learn that she had graduated and gotten a job.


When I Mary asked if she could meet RG and the mommies, I thought of inviting S (and her husband, if he wanted to come) to join us.


[to be continued]

10 Responses to “Are Peru and Romania at Peace?”

  1. Sounds like you’re opening your own branch of the Diplomatic Corps.

  2. truce Says:

    I predict RG will have mastered Romanian and Peruvian in under 3 weeks.

  3. truce Says:

    And I LOVE the ‘possibly related posts’ first link title…

  4. modestypress Says:


    Given that my cousin became a Chinese millionaire (perhaps because of her Eastern European ancestry) and her sister now is a chiropractor in Spain; that my brother lived in Senegal for three years, played lead guitar in the village rock and roll band (though he detests rock and roll and much prefers bluegrass) and learned silver jewelry-making as a trade from the Senegalese people he was supposed to uplift as a Peace Corps worker and one of his daughters married the French son of her host family when she was an exchange student in France (though she then divorced him–making me wonder why we are not at war with France); Mommy and Mama spent two weeks sailing the Finnish archipalegeo with a former fellow student (a Finn and her husband, an engineer for Nokia), I would say it is a family tradition.

    As in many other areas, I am the mental runt of my family.

  5. modestypress Says:


    What is Peruvian? I thought most Peruvians spoke Spanish. However, perhaps Mary also speaks Quechua. I never asked her.

    I am not sure what language the bunnies I shoot for raiding our garden speak. However, they are perhaps whispering to Monty Python’s Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

    Random Granddaughter’s favorite stuffed animal is in fact a rabbit. I have several times heard this rabbit speaking sternly and aggressively to RG’s other toys. RG’s rabbit has in fact visited our little house in the middle-sized woods. He is perhaps biding his time to wreak revenge upon us for our bunnycide.

  6. pandemonic Says:

    Perhaps there’s a market for your type of matchmaking. Not just for lovers, but for friends too. It’s hard to make friends these days. Just think. It could see you through your golden years.

  7. modestypress Says:


    Those are good points. Mrs. Random, very introverted, volunteers at the farmers’ market. She feels comfortable because she knows most of the people and they share her values. She has just signed up to volunteer at the local senior center. She will be able to grumble with the other curmudgeons.

    I am volunteering for the Becker Foundation, and I may start a part-time business. If we both keep busy and interacting with people, we may find reasons not to exterminate each other with extreme prejudice. And I may keep in touch with some of the people I worked with, once I calm down.

  8. pandemonic Says:

    Yes, and you may be able to prevent those retirement feelings of killing your spouse. 🙂

  9. spectrum Says:

    Such a international relations expert you are becoming! I do appreciate it when Americans represent us well in the presence of those from foreign countries, irregardless of the fact that these individuals live here now. I still consider that they have families elsewhere and communicate with them. Perhaps S, R, Mary and the remaining are calling home and telling their relatives in foreign lands: “I met the most charming man. He exemplifies all the kindness that we have spoken of in Americans. His granddaughter, however, from what we have learned will soon have a leadership position in the United States making her the first child capable of handling international disputes in all sections using her unique skills of intelligent manipulation. Currently, she is honing these skills on her grandfather and is showing some success.”

  10. modestypress Says:


    Globalism works in mysterious ways. One of my daughter’s best friends is a Finnish woman she met when she attended an international school in Canada.

    At a school reunion, Random Granddaughter (around two years old at the time) met an “adoptive” Finnish cousin. Up to that time, RG had refused to eat vegetable. However, when she saw the little Finnish boy eating his vegetables with evident delight, she ate a few vegetables for the first time. Who knows what she will consent to eat after she meets people from Peru and from Romania?

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