THE TOQUEPALA YEARS
In 1987 Russell was transferred and promoted to VP/GM of the company and we had to leave Ilo for Toquepala. I had made such good friends and was having a great time and this was another difficult move for me. The previous VP/GM’s wife had made Toquepala a very formal setting and I didn’t know how I was going to deal with that. But as usual, I quickly adjusted and began life as mother hen to the women of all three of the company’s areas. My adjustment was especially easy as Leah, the woman who came and went from Ilo, became my best friend. I told her often that I felt as if she was the other half of me and she seemed to feel about the same. She was also my right hand gal for organizing the social life that was my responsibility and we turned Toquepala into a really fun place to be.
I was still kind of floundering around with the spirituality thing and at one point even messed around with an Ouija board. We did successfully get information about all of us using the board, but I subsequently read a book that convinced me I didn’t know enough to protect us from opening some portal and letting in malevolent spirits. We actually may have because at some point during the time we lived in that house I began to feel that there was something not good residing in the back bedrooms. I slept near the bedroom door but couldn’t turn my back to the door. My daughter also told me years later that she wouldn’t sleep in her room when we were out of town because it creeped her out. We never had any bad experiences other than that so I think we were lucky. I eventually had the gardener dispose of the Ouija board and bury it.
In Lima I met a woman who agreed to come to Toquepala for a week and give a small group of us a course in meditation, shiatsu, crystals, etc. I learned so much from her about the metaphysical world and still use the ChiKung class she taught us. I was desperate for teachers and they were hard to come by living so far from civilization there in Peru and am eternally grateful to Alicia for the lessons she taught me.
Life loped along for the next few years with much travel with Russell and way too much social life because of his position. Again I was enjoying life immensely, but knew there was something missing still. My intuitive powers were growing to the point that I knew when my best friend was having serious personal problems. One weekend Russell was traveling to the US and I got a paniced feeling that something was terribly wrong. I assumed it was related to Russell and it was so strong and devastating that I spent the first part of the night crying and planning how I was going to deal with hearing he was dead and planning my widowhood. I just knew he had to be killed in an airplane crash. I had not learned yet how to determine to whom these feelings belonged to when I got them. As it turned out a phone call in the middle of the night relieved my angst immediately as I learned my friend was in terrible trouble. I could do nothing about it, but at least I knew who it all belonged to.
Throughout my adult life I have frequently had feelings of impending doom and rarely could I determine what it was about or whom. My mother has always been psychically connected and had these same feelings and they just drove her crazy. She was too afraid to develop her intuitive powers because she had a tendency to see death. Can’t say I blame her! She was visiting me in Spain once and we had a trip planned to Italy. A week or so before we were to leave I began to get that gut feeling that something was wrong and finally told her I just didn’t think we should go. She was so relieved because she had been having the same feelings but didn’t want to say anything to ruin the trip.
I continued to read all the books I could bring back with me in suitcases and even went to have Tarot card readings whenever I could. I was always told that I had to pursue this spirituality path, but it was sure slow going being so far away from anyone who could guide me. I was guiding weekly yoga classes and really wanted to teach formally, but knew I needed to get back to the US for that. Eventually I began telling Russell that I had had enough fun in Peru and really wanted to go home. I knew I couldn’t go any further until I was back in the US. We spent another year there until he decided also that he was ready to go back.
Just before we left a young man came from Chile and taught us Transcendental Meditation. I had been reading about this technique and just knew it needed to know it, but had also found out that it was terribly expensive in the US. We were so fortunate to have this young man teach us for a greatly reduced price. I wasn’t thrilled with the pomp and ceremony of this training, but got through it because I knew it would serve me well—and it certainly has. I had been looking for something more to deal with stress than just zoning out for 20 minutes on the couch. I can say with all sincerity that meditation saved my life.
Leaving Peru was heart-wrenching but we were ready for new adventures back in Arizona.