Prior to our first crucial communication in 2003, Aaron and I had previously met only about 4 or 5 times, in Cameroon, and this was usually at our Bahá’í meetings and conferences. He was from the South West Province of the country, and I was from the North West. Tribally and distance-wise, we were really from different parts.

Quite frankly, even back then, it was hard not to notice him. He stood out with his height and coloring and ready smile. Aaron is a very easy-going and friendly person, and it is easy to notice that about him the first time you make his acquaintance. But then, our encounters were always very brief, and the circumstances at that time did not allow any sparks to fly between us. Then he left Cameroon to study abroad, and I didn’t hear from him again, or even think much about him, except as one of our Bahá’í youth who had gone to study abroad. It never once crossed my mind that our paths will cross again.. Then I left for Israel in mid 2002. I did voluntary religious service at our Bahá’í World Centre in the city of Haifa for 2 years, i.e. until mid 2004. By 2003, I was 24 years old and like most young women at that age, I started seriously thinking that it was time that I found that special someone with whom I’d share the rest of my life. I had to give serious thought to it. So, I started fervently praying in our Holy Shrines, supplicating Baha’u’llah (the founder of the Baha’i Faith) to help me find that person. I had these conversation sessions with God where I’ll say I wanted someone God-fearing, goal oriented…, you know, all the good stuff. Then I’d say, “God, but I also won’t mind someone good-looking, charming…”, and then I’d wonder if that was contradictory, or too much to ask…

I was especially intent on this prayer during the month of March, 2003, our month of Fasting. During this Fasting period, out of the blues, Aaron called me. Keep in mind, I hadn’t heard from him in almost 5 years, since 1999. It was weird. The conversation didn’t last long and was somewhat awkward. But then again, it is always nice to hear from old friends, especially my Cameroonian Bahá’í friends. So I managed to be pleasant, even though immensely surprised. I had no idea that my warm response was a great boost to Aaron’s confidence, especially considering what he had in mind. Aaron did not mince words. He soon came out clear that he wanted to get to know me better, if that was okay with me, and that he was hoping that we will be able to build a relationship. I was speechless. First of all, it is not easy to turn down such a direct request without good reason upfront, and second, I was intrigued. So, I said: “No, I don’t mind you calling me again.” Funny, but I couldn’t think of much else to say at the time.

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