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We knew exactly where we would spend our 40th–in Cuzco. For the dual celebration, Jhon’s mother wanted to serve the Inca specialty cuy, or what we gringos know as guinea pig. Cuy is very expensive, however, and we hastened to assure Jhon that it wasn’t necessary. We had tried cuy on our first trip to Peru: after looking at a cute little guinea pig that might have been a child’s pet in the United States, we proceeded to eat it a half-hour later. Never again! So Jhon’s mother suggested chicken instead, and we all happily agreed to the menu change. As it turned out, Jhon’s mother is an excellent cook, and the meal was delicious.

Dee and I celebrated the twins’ birthday in their very modest home. Although they said they didn’t have much to offer, they welcomed us with big hearts. Tears came to our eyes when they expressed gratitude for what we were doing for Jhon. There could have been no better way to spend our anniversary.

We now exchange e-mails with Jhon about twice a week and Skype about twice a month. He refers to us as Mom and Dad, and we think of him as one of our own children. He is doing very well in school, and Dee and I look forward to our next trip to Peru to attend his university graduation. In the meantime, we urge everyone to visit Cuzco, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, and Machu Picchu. Once you get there, please look up Jhon. If you would like to take him to dinner, we can recommend quite a few great restaurants–all of which serve chicken.

Tony Geisler ‘63, SM ‘66, and his wife, Dee, are retired and live in Northern California. You can reach Tony at

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Credit: Dee Geisler

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