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I'll try to make this short. ;)

Over ten years ago Dennis (who makes and sells plans for a machine that grinds mirrors for telescopes) was contacted by a young man from Trujillo, Peru who ordered plans so he could make a mirror and then his own telescope.

Jorge was poor, a student, and eager to learn. Over time they became email buddies and friends.

 

When Jorge couldn't find a mirror blank (a thick piece of glass which can be ground and polished to use in a telescope) Den found one and sent it to Peru. The corrupt officials need bribes to deliver any items, especially from outside the country and it cost Jorge quite a bit to get the blank. It had been opened and a huge gouge was found on the back. Luckily it didn't affect the other side so Jorge ground his mirror.

 

While Jorge would be considered middle-class in Peru (his extended family of five shared a three-room mud-brick house with electricity and water) he had trouble saving enough and continuing classes. Dennis would send him money a couple of times a year. I know---red flags! But Jorge sent pictures, small gifts, and it made us feel good that $100 would let the family have some luxuries they couldn't afford. That amount is almost a month's wages in Trujillo.

 

His girlfriend became pregnant, delivered a little girl, and they named her Linda Nicole. Wow.

Two years later they added a little boy to their family. Named Dennis.

We were honored and laughed that we now had grandchildren!

 

Jorge sent us a link to a youtube today showing little Dennis graduating from Kindergarten and being elected "el Presidente" of his class. So cute! The school system is very structured and the kids wear caps and gowns. We get lots of photos of cultural celebrations with the kids and family.

 

Jorge asked today if we would consent to being the kids godparents. They're Catholic and it's a serious and sobering commitment in the Church. I guess we really are grandparents!

 

Just thought I'd share our favorite Christmas story for this year. What a great feeling to connect with people from far away.

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