"I could hardly believe that my son, born in a cave during our first months on the island, was now twenty-three years old. Of course Heinz and I had looked forward to the prospect of our children one day marrying and having children of their own [.]

It was funny for me to hear Rolf and Inge discussing it so lightheartedly, without any self-consciousness, treating the matter as the normal and natural thing it was. Decidedly they had both grown up before their fond mother had properly realized the fact.

She (Floreanita) came to the conclusion, however, that too many people on the mainland were only interested in money [.] She had made a lot of new friends, though, and had even invited one of them to stay. The girl, Paquita García, already had a connection to the island - through our former "problem child" the radio station.

For about a year this had been functioning perfectly, receiving and transmitting messages from the mainland and the other islands, a real bridge with the outside world. It was wonderful that we now knew in advance when the next ship was coming, instead of endlessly waiting in impatience and uncertainty.

The near-miracle had been achieved by the twenty-one-year-old radio-operator, Mario García, youngest child of a family of ten. He had four brothers and five sisters, the youngest of the sisters being Paquita.

All ten children had been born on a small farm at the foot of Mount Chimborazo. Their father was in Government service at Quito, their mother ran the farm. Both Paquita and Mario had grown up in the same tradition of self-supporting small farmers as we had developed on our island.