In July of 2010, Corey set off on a magical adventure to the Dominican Republic with some awesome people from her church. She packed only scrubs, ugly t-shirts and bandanas, since really...who was she trying to impress on a mission trip?
Meanwhile, Manuel volunteered yet again to help Food for the Hungry by translating for some random group of American missionaries from Texas. What a way to spend his vacation days. :)
They first met when Corey got off the plane, sick and miserable with a terrible cold. They didn't even talk the first night. So basically, it was not love at first sight.
The next morning, Corey was feeling much better, and they had a great conversation on the four-hour drive out to the village. They spent the week teaching VBS, mixing cement to build latrines, and generally being dorks and playing with kids in the village together. Manuel was somehow the translator for Corey's group almost every day, which was suspicious, considering he wasn't supposed to be. They stayed up late talking and laughing every night, as well as fighting bats, tarantulas, and giant tree frogs that inhabited their latrines.
The week came to an end, and they hugged and said goodbye, not knowing what would happen next. When Corey arrived back in Texas, she sent Manuel an excessively long email about her trip back (including a fabulous story about Jacob and Bella barbies), and crossed her fingers hoping he would reply. Manuel replied...and then talked to her for 4 hours on facebook, and then basically broke down his neighbors door to get his headset so they could skype in the middle of the night. And then, they fell in love. <3 (This is where you say, "AWWWWWWWWwwwwwWWWWwww, they're so sweet!")