When I left my family and friends to live in rural Paraguay and serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years, I never imagined that I would meet the love of my life. But there he was after the Paraguay vs. Brazil soccer game. We instantly sparked as two blond Americans in a crowd of Latin American revelers. Our courtship was quick but intense; we felt like we had known each other for years. Only four months later, he made the hot, dusty 12 -hour bus ride to surprise me at my house by the river. We walked along the banks right before sunset, where I was bombarded by a group of neighborhood children who all wanted to hug their American teacher. I was in a particularly good mood when he stopped me to sit down on some abandoned steps. He told me how much he loved me and that our souls were connected. He said that he wanted to be with me every day and handed me a letter written by a British Prime Minister to his wife during World War II, which he had found in London.
Tears of happiness ran down my cheeks and my heart felt full as I read: "Dearest, Belovedest, Precious, Sweetheart, Many, many happy returns of your birthday. I want my present to be a string of pearls. I want you to choose them. Here is a token gift, with all my love. You know, far better than I can tell you how intertwined our lives are, how impossible I feel it would be to do things separately. Thank you for all you have always done, for all that you always are, for all that I know you intend to do and to be. There were never luckier children, there never could be as fortunate a husband. Your own, Andrew." When I got to the word "husband," it started to click. I looked up at my best friend, and he asked me to marry him. With tears in my eyes, I told him I would have married him yesterday. We embraced as the sun set over the River Paraguay. Now, we are planning our own sunset ceremony in New York and a lifetime of sunsets around the world.