Cheap Wine And Love Peace Corps Style
“I thought he was a bit of a nerd,” said RPCV Stacey McKeever.
That was the line that caught my attention in the detailed profile (written by Rosalie R. Radomsky) in the wedding section of The New York Times this Sunday. (NO, I don’t usually read that section, but a friend of ours was also married this weekend.)
So I started to read about Stacey McKeever and Charles Fogelman who were married yesterday in New York by a friend of theirs, a Universal Life minister, at a bar/event space in Brooklyn. (That’s the way we do things in NYC!)
Stacey & Charlie met during Training for Lesotho and while Charles from the very first thought that Stacey was “very pretty, and something about her independence and faith in herself is what drew me in.” Stacey thought Charlie was a nerd.
Of course, at the same time, during Training, Stacey was keeping her distance from all the PCVs. As Charles said, “that made her more interesting. She didn’t want to engage in the childishness of many of us. Her sense of maturity was interesting.” Stacey was also 3 years old than Charlie and the other PCVs.
They were assigned to sites several hours apart, so Charles started ‘hitting on her’ by writing letters. “He wrote me letters every Sunday,” Stacey remembered, “letters are a big deal when you don’t have a phone or Internet.” For her part, just to read his mail, she had to travel an hour to the post office.
She responded sporadically at first, then began writing more often. “His letters were so sweet. We’d see each other in the capital. When it was the two of us, it was really fun to see him.”
Then Charlie made his move. He invited Stacey to his site. He bought a bottle of cheap South African wine. “I felt so adult and romantic. But the wine tasted terrible. Nevertheless, by the end of the evening it was too late for her to go home…
Their relationship survived reverse culture shock in New York City where he worked in marketing for American Express, and she was a researcher in studies of H.I.V. and drug-resistant tuberculosis in South Africa. They talked to each other in Sesotho and last year, in their tiny Harlem apartment, they had the Queen of Lesotho, who was studying at Columbia, over for dinner. “That was a pretty perfect moment,” recalls Charlie. “It was perfect to unite our life in Lesotho and New York in that wonderful way.”
Well, I’d say they sound like a pretty perfect couple.
6 CommentsLeave a comment
Love a la Peace Corps and in another language and culture…sounds perfect to any of us who have been down that road…Bob
RPCV Colombia 1964-66
Hey John, I write the wine column.
Leo–we need a column from you on the “best wines of Southern Africa”…Let’s help these PCVs find the loves of their lives.
Nice catch, John!
One on South African wines coming up.
Way to go Charlie Fogelman, you are reviving a lost skill…..writing letters.!!.Aaron Williams in a speech at American University here in DC last week, said he “wrote his Mother every Sunday” telling her about his PC experience. Today’s volunteers don’t write letters, nor Post Cards , as they have computers, cellphones and twitter.