People who know me well know that, despite being a shy introvert, perhaps paradoxically, I love meeting people and getting to know them.
And so, after much delay, I reached out to the Peruvian Tolkien Society to let them know I was coming to Lima. The next day.
Despite the very short notice, each of the three senior officers responded (in flawless English) to let me know how very welcome I was, how very excited they were, and to let me know that if I had any questions about Lima, or Peru, or South America, that they would be thrilled to help me.
Further, they invited me to the first of a series of virtual discussion-group sessions as they begin to work their way through John Rateliff’s The History of The Hobbit.
I thought that would be very fun, of course, so despite my having flown a red-eye flight the night before, and despite the fact that the session wouldn’t start until 9:00pm, I accepted.
And then they had the idea that they (the three officers) could join me in my Airbnb so that we could meet in person. I was a little trepidatious, not only due to my general shyness but also because I really wasn’t sure what state I would be in — but again I accepted.
Fortunately, I got a second (well, more accurately a third or a fourth) wind. In the event, only two of them were able to make it. But they were so warm and welcoming and gracious that I immediately felt at ease among friends.
And, against all probability, it turns out that my reputation had preceded me. Despite the fact that Tolkienists.org has been mothballed for a full 18 months, they were quite familiar with it.
I was gobsmacked! And I have had my earnest desire to make the site not only more internationally comprehensive, but also to make it multi-lingual, reinforced. This will only be possible, I believe, as a collaborative effort. I’m not quite sure how to implement it yet, but I’ll be thinking about this as I finish up the Anduin™ project.
And in the meantime, I have lovely new friends here in Lima!