Raquel's International Love
From Raquel:
End of December we get to the airport and I find out I'm going on a surprise trip to South Africa. (I thought this was my Christmas present) fast forward halfway into our trip on January 4th we take a trip to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world, Table mountain. It was there that my forever got down on one knee to ask me to be his wife. I was in total shock and at a loss for words! Our wedding date is set for 2/9/2019 in New York City and the very next day we'll be headed back to South Africa with 18 of our closest friends and family to experience the magic of Cape Town all over again !!
From Raquel's fiancé : 
Tying it all together-- 2017 was a fulfilling year. I decided at the end of 2016 that 2017 needed to be deliberate. I set very specific goals. Instead of focusing on my big picture, I put my focus on just laying one brick at a time. Chip away. And like pledging, every journey starts w/ desire and potential, followed by a very rough period that is painful and overwhelming, w/ no apparent pay off. Then, follows a period where the load has increased, but the mind and body are better prepared and not so easily moved. Followed by pure happiness. 
This past year I set and accomplished goals of improving the financial situation of me and mine, bringing my family together for reunion after seventeen years, laying the framework for a human/civil rights organization, and to solidify the cornerstone of my legacy; the rock upon which I will build "my house".
This part is called Happiness. She's my Diamond. And she has the most beautiful spirit of any adult being I've ever known. She's everything I'm not. After saying "Yes," atop one of nature's 7 world wonders, she asked, "when did you know I was the one?" I thought for a moment and realized that I knew our very first date. Since then, I've just been taking time to be sure my intuition was correct, but more importantly, to become a better man and prepare a life for her. 
So, as with pledging, you can't focus on the glory of your goal, only on your brick. One brick at a time. And when you are deliberate, you can begin to realize your full potential. And just as w/ pledging, the journey wasn't as fun as others, but being on the stage at the end, while the world looks on as you realize your diamond is worth the toil.
Well, this was our stage, Table Mountain, South Africa. And this is my diamond and her diamond. And she is worth every brick. 
Congrats on your engagement you two!
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