On Monday evening, the rain continued to fall as Rhonda and I walked to a little taco place called "El Tacarbón," where we planned to meet some of my old friends from Colegio Guasave.
Somehow I got confused and heard that we should arrive at 7:30, but everyone else heard that we should arrive at 8:00. Rhonda and I arrived at exactly 7:30 on the dot, and waited for everyone else to show up. Actually, Rhonda and I got a very wonderful "date night" as we waited, but after a half hour, I began to think no one would arrive. "Maybe they forgot," I said. "Or maybe 20 years is just too long to wait."
At 8:00, Rhonda and I ordered our food and enjoyed a delicious carne asada.
At 8:30, we finished our dinner just as the first folks began to arrive. When I expressed my surprise, they informed me that 8:00 was the true meeting time, and of course I also had to account for "Mexican time," so everyone was just right to arrive at 8:30!
Just a few minutes before, I thought everyone had forgotten me, but then more people arrived than I ever expected. It was beautiful to see that so many people remembered me after so many years.
At one point during the evening, I spoke with several friends from our group about all my adventures over the last 20 years. The conversation came easier than it ever did when I lived here as an exchange student. My friend Leo laughed and said, "Barry, we understand your Spanish now. It feels like we're getting to know you for the very first time, and we're finding out that you're much cooler than we ever knew." We all laughed, but there was a truth within his joke.
At the end of the evening, I walked back to the hotel feeling happy and light.