Thursday, December 23, 2010

Danny comes to Ponca City

Danny comes to Ponca City

Our son Hugh had enlisted in the Peace corps in 1969, he then went to Brockport NY for his training and was sent to Peru in 1970.  He married a Peruvian girl named Betty Manrique Galvez and two children were born in this marriage.  Carolina in 1972 and Daniel in 1974.

Betty and the children came to the States in 1979 and stayed 4 months in our house until they could speak and understand English.  Hugh was in Saudi Arabia at this time working for Collins Radio and setting up the telephone system out in the desert.  Betty and the children then moved out of our house to a house of their own at 408 E Emporia.  Betty and Hugh divorced and Betty and the children returned to Peru in 1981.  Dale and I maintained a good relationship with Betty’s family.

My husband Dale and I traveled to Peru about 7 times between 1972 and 1989.  In 1989 the Shining Path Guerillas were very active in the countryside and smaller cities.  Their favorite tactic was to blow up the high line towers in the mountains and you never knew if you would have electricity or not.  The regular police also stopped you on the roads and examined everything in your car and purse using a sub machine gun to keep you from protesting.

Betty had called Hugh in the fall of 1989 and asked if he would like to have  Danny come to the States and live with Hugh and Sunday.  Carol was finishing High School so I and a friend went to Peru Dec 12th 1989 to see Carol graduate and to bring Danny back to the states.  Danny was 16 and Betty did not want him getting interested in the guerrilla movement. 

Betty met us at the airport and we then went to a friends apartment close to the old market.  We had to be careful with our purses and we watched very carefully getting in and out of the car.  We did stay one day in Lima and went into the central part of the city.  We encountered tear gas and a large marching group of people.  We rushed inside a store so as not to be seen.

The following day we drove to Huancayo Peru where my grandchildren lived.  Huancayo is located about 180 miles from Lima over the first range of mountains then down into the Mantero valley.  It is a city of about 100,000 people.  We left Lima and started up the mountain.  We reach an elevation of 16000 feet in 80 miles of travel.  Then we drop down to the Mantero Valley which has an elevation of 12000 feet.  The road was partly gravel at that time and there is a lot of traffic on the road.  The trucks look like our gravel trucks and are loaded with produce from the high jungle.  These trucks are carrying oranges, bananas, avocados and other tropical fruit. These trucks also bring lumber, other vegetables, grain and potatoes to Lima.  There are 5000 different variety’s of potatoes in the International Potato Institute in Lima.  Peru’s Quecha  Indians developed most of the vegetables we use in Western Civilization. You can go to the market in any small village in Peru and see many different vegetables that we are unfamiliar with in the states.

We arrived in Huancayo and did attend Carol’s graduation ceremony.  We did not go out at night.  We watched on local TV the  funeral  of a high city official.  He had been murdered by the Shining Path Guerrilla's.  It was an uneasy time in Huancayo and I was glad when we returned to Lima to fly home.

The plane lifted off the runway and I could breath easy again.  Danny went to Baltimore for a couple of weeks and then came to live with us in Ponca City for 5 months and attended Po-Hi.  The first thing he wanted was a flashlight and I bought one for him.  I got curious about why he wanted a flashlight.  Well he found the tunnel under 7th St that goes all the way to Poplar and had been exploring it.  Think he found some bats in it and we had to warn him about being in that tunnel.

We bought as mountain bike for him sometime in April or May and he enjoyed riding it.  We were so sorry that we hadn’t bought the bike when he arrived here.  The 5 months went by real fast and then we took him to Baltimore to live with his Father and Sunday.  He was able to be accepted into the Baltimore School of Arts and stayed in Baltimore 2 years with his Father and Sunday.

While in Baltimore he entered a contest and won a prize on a picture and on a collage that he had made.  He had been drawing and painting since he was a small child.  He stayed in Baltimore with his Father for 2 years and then went back to Peru as conditions were better then.  He entered college at San Marcos and studied there for 3 years.  

Danny's sister, Carolina attended college in Lima and her major was Marine Biology.  She later came to the States with her husband Jaime and recently earned her Doctorate from the University of California at Irvine, in Marine Biology

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