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Monday, May 16, 2011

A Foreign Women Loves Me; Loves Me Not!

I met Juana María (not her real name) on Facebook months before my 2010 trip to Perú. A separate Spanish-speaking Facebook account has already been opened in order to meet people in Latin-American countries that I planed to visit, preferably Afro-Latinos. A female is a plus. My primary motive for making Facebook friends in Latin-America is to have strong social connections to make my trips more personable and enjoyable. This worked nicely in Venezuela and Colombia, and very nicely in Perú and Ecuador. And to this day, this practice is still working for future trips.

I wonder if Juana would have had the same interest in me if I were from the community. Is she interested in me or where I'm from?

When Juana's name and photo came up on my Facebook page as a friend suggestion, I looked over the available information in her profile and saw that she is from Chincha, Perú; my home away from home where I've been traveling since 2005 and established close ties with people in the community. I immediately sent her a friendship request. She responded with a personal e-mail in over-anxious attempts to get to know me. Almost daily, she would look me up on Facebook to see if I was on line to initiate conversations.

We both learned that she and I knew the same people in and around Chincha. I asked my Facebook friends in Chincha, Perú about Juana María, one of whom, confirmed my suspicions. His exact words translated into English were, “she would love to have a wealthy, classy man like you (a lot of people in third-world countries think all Americans are in the same income bracket as Donald Trump).” A local doctor warned me that she likes to take advantage of foreigners. None of this surprised me, for with my travel experience and even here in the US, I've been approached by women from The Philippines, Cuba, India, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Ethiopia with only one thing in mind---obtaining a resident alien card to live in the US.

I've been approached by women from The Philippines, Cuba, India, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Ethiopia with only one thing in mind.

However, I took all of my Facebook friend's comments with a grain of salt. After all, I was not in Perú to find a woman, I was in Perú to immerse myself in the Spanish language and the culture, particularly black culture. I even took Juana and her 14-year-old son out to a popular Peruvian soul food restaurant called Mamainé. On another occasion, I rented a van and took her, her son, and 15 others to the beach, and after wards, to a restaurant for a roasted chicken dinner. Juana María stayed close by me throughout the day, and even gave me that extended gaze of interest. I continued to maintain the “friend-ship.” My heart was focused on everyone having a good time.

I wonder if Juana would have had the same interest in me if I were from her community. Would she even notice the content of my character or would she even care? Is she interested in me or is she interested in where I'm from? Juana María is a good-looking woman, why hasn't she already found her prince? As much as I like to travel, will I ever be open to bringing home a wife? Who knows! However, I see nothing wrong with finding someone where there is a mutual attraction, mutual interests, and complementary characters right here in the USA.