My first steps in ICQ were rather timid,
limited by communication with people from Armenia. Gradually I enlarged
my geography, and on one summer day of 2001 decided to hook up some
Spanish-speaker and practice my Spanish of which i had a little
knowledge from university.
I sent several messages with the quite
uninteresting HOLA DE ARMENIA. Several guys replied, among them someone
from Cuba, with nickname "mano", aged 25 ....and since then, during
three long years those 4 small letters "mano" became the power that made
my heart beat like crazy when I saw "mano online" blinking in the
taskbar of my PC. There followed 3 years of chatting for hours,
sometimes 24 hours a day, emailing, calling.
He had almost no chance of getting out of
communist Cuba, and I had little opportunity to travel there. That time
was full of virtual love, anger, attempts to break-up, forget, but there
was always HOPE - a hope to meet despite we both were realizing that
there were thousands miles and unfavorable conditions separating us.
So we kept living our ordinary lives on
opposite sides of the planet, but always secretly waiting for OUR
moment… In those 3 years I went through many changes in my life. In his
life also a major change took place, in 2003 he managed to escape from
Cuba and established in Miami, Florida. In Summer 2004 my mam (only 46)
and my grandpa died one after another due to cancer. I was going though
enormous stress, the world seemed to be falling apart for me, life lost
its meaning and yet there were those 4 small letters – always there for
Nothing was keeping me in Yerevan anymore
and I was ready for a move. But there was another obstacle – the chances
to get US visa for an Armenian is 1:10. And that one single chance was
mine on September 30! I had my visa, he bought my ticket, I was ready!
On October 18, 2004 I landed in Miami International Airport, he was
there. Real MANO, my Manuel Diaz. Now we are married for 4 months,
living happily in Miami, and only time will show if those 3 years were
really worth waiting. For now we are the happiest people alive….