Hi everyone. Karilan and I have started a pen pal project between Alex's cousin, Analisa Gonzalez Guerra and Karilan's Janessa Parish. I am very excited to start this pen pal project. Janessa is a sim I've been eyeing for a while. She seems like such a fun sim. I definitely recommend checking out her story here.
Also, you can read Janessa's letter to Analisa here.
Excavation Site, Selvadorada, Date unknown... or is it?
In a land that was not Egypt, but in fact almost directly west of it and across the Atlantic ocean...
There was a party of archeologists working on a dig.
"Ana, your mother's on the phone," Analisa's coworker, Angelina, said from behind her.
"Angelina you crept up on me," said Analisa.
"Sorry, but your mother said it was urgent."
Rats, thought Analisa. Great Aunt Luna's probably 'gone to the other neighbourhood' for real this time.
She headed back to the base.
"Oh hi sweetie, I found a letter in the mail this morning. Your father's scanned it and sent it to you. Says it's from some woman named Janessa. I've never heard of her. Is she someone you met while working abroad?"
"No, mama. She's my new pen pal."
"Pen pal? Oh you started one of those. You'll have to tell us all about her when you come home, speaking of which, we're holding a house party next week. Would love to have you there. Of course I understand if you can't, but..."
"I'll be there."
"Really? Ah thanks lovey. Oh and bring that fiancé of yours too. Your cousins have been dying to see what he looks like."
"He's not my fiancé."
"Yes yes. of course, anyway, bye for now. Love you."
"Love you too."
Analisa sighed and stepped into the base.
What is Santos waiting for?
Santos and Analisa had been dating for five years and she'd expected to have a ring by now.
Analisa sat down at the desk and checked her emails.
Urgh. She scrolled past all the wedding invites. Pretty much her whole neighbourhood had proposed to each other last Summer.
Analisa stopped scrolling. She found the letter scanned and sent to her by her father.
Should I read it now? Or head back to the others?
She decided to read the letter because she didn't have a desktop computer back at the lodging and her laptop was undergoing a major update tonight.
She clicked on the file and opened the letter.
When she had finished reading, she shut down the computer and headed back to the excavation site. Nobody was there.
Rats! They left without me.
So she ran down to the local market.
Analisa entered the Cantina, El Arbol De Jaguar. It was a bar her colleagues frequented after work.
"Okay. I see you've all settled in nicely," said Analisa. Her colleagues and a couple of her friends and cousins who were visiting from her home town were sitting at the round table chatting and laughing.
"You were on the phone for hours," said Santos.
"Shut up!" said Analisa. "I was on the phone for a couple of minutes."
"So what did you do after you got off the phone then?" Lucia, who lived across the street from Analisa back in Belomisia, placed her fruit punch on the table. "Sofia told me you were gone for ages and so they gave up waiting and headed here."
"I was reading a letter from my new pen pal," said Analisa.
"On the job?" said Santos. Her friends and colleagues tutted.
"Give me a break, Santos. We were almost finished for the day."
Analisa brushed past him and took a seat beside Lucia and Diego.
"So tell me about this pen pal," said Santos.
"Yeah. We want to know all about this mystery friend," said Lucia.
"Okay," Analisa laughed, "this is what I know. Her name is Janessa Parish."
"Janessa. Never heard of that name before," said Sofia. "Where's she from?"
"That city in New Tokyo?"
"Not sure. I have a feeling it might be a different city with the same name. It happens. I mean, how many Alexandrias are there?"
"True," said Sofia. "So tell us more. Did she say anything about San Myshuno? What's it like there?"
"Her flat's not great, but that's about it. She thinks Selvadorada's more interesting than anything San Myshuno has to offer."
"What an excuse!" cried Lucia. "She couldn't be bothered explaining."
"I know. She's not getting away with that. If she wants to hear my stories, she's giving me hers."
"Stories?" said Diego. "I can help you."
"Uhm... I'm fine, but thanks for that, Diego," said Analisa.
"How about last week when you mistook the king's dog for a stray?"
"Understandable!" said Analisa. "Nine times out of ten, a dog wandering the streets on its own is a stray," and she folded her arms. "Anyway, what is the king's dog doing here?"
"Is this about your cousin's dog?" said Lucia.
"Yes," Analisa replied. "Last week I encountered this dog on the way to work who kept following me around. He was covered in flees. It was a bit disturbing to say the least. I told him to 'shoo' once or twice. You know what I'm like about dogs, particularly strays. But he wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. So I looked him in the eyes and that's when it hit me. He was looking straight at me with a familiar expression. You know, that cheeky look Alex and Diego have," Analisa nodded towards Diego. "You two look freakishly similar. Then the dog started drawing with his paw in the dirt. He drew a starving dog and a human figure. It seems his owner has been starving him and so he ran away. Sophia says the dog looks just like Loki, Alex's dog, and he always answers to that name."
"I'm convinced it's him," said Sophia.
"Uh-huh," said Lucia. "He hopped on a boat did he? Sailed himself to Mexico?"
Diego's wife, Alessandra, sat down at the table.
"You all are enjoying yourselves way too much. Tell me, what's so funny?"
"We're discussing funny stories, Sandra."
"Know of any?" Diego's eyes lingered playfully on his wife.
Alessandra raised an eyebrow. "Well all the funny stories I know are about you." She turned her attention to the rest of the group. "And they're not very flattering."
The friends fell about laughing, even Diego.
Later that evening at the lodging, Analisa wrote her reply to Janessa.
My apologies if my English is not very good. I am hoping these letters will help me to improve.
Yesterday, I was very excited that I had the opportunity to read your letter. I was working on an excavation site two hours from home when my mother phoned me to say that your letter had arrived in the post.
I hope you do not mind. I was talking with friends about you. We all want to know more about San Myshuno. Is this the city in New Tokyo? I have heard of that place. My great aunt tells me my cousin is always talking about his friend from New Tokyo. He speaks to my great aunt a lot on the phone. He currently lives in Simsland.
You dream of traveling? Wow! That is great! Traveling is wonderful. You learn so many new things about life when you travel. I have to travel as part of my job, but mostly for conferences so I do not see much of these places I visit.
As you may know I am an archeologist working on uncovering an ancient Aztec midden. I have worked on other sites, even some in Europe, which is why I wish to improve my English. My field is archaeobotany, which means I specialise in prehistoric dietary habits mostly in ancient Aztec and Mayan civilisations, but it is not exclusive to that. In the end, human diets are not complex.
Now to answer your questions.
I have always lived in Selvadorada. I was born in Extrañico, which is a town five hours away from Belomisia where I live now. I moved because of work. Then my parents moved because I moved, followed by some of my cousins, which answers your second question about what I love about here. It took me a long time, because when you live in a place you take it for granted. But I remember what my grandmother would say, "no home is complete without a family," so I am very grateful for my family.
As to your other question, of course there are places I have not visited. Selvadorada is a big state. I do not even know all the names of the districts. I would like to do some sight-seeing someday. As a resident who has lived here all my life, I have never visited any of the tourist attractions. I know this does not directly answer your question because there are no pyramids in Selvadorada, but I am ashamed to mention that I have never visited any of the pyramids in Mexico and I am an archeologist. I have just been very busy and an opportunity has not risen.
My boyfriend and I have been saving up for a holiday in Veracruz to visit the Pyramid of the Niches in El Tajin, a pre-Columbian archeological site. I am very excited. It is one of the greatest pyramids in Mexico.
I have questions for you now.
Do you work?
What is your family like?
Have you many siblings?
Tell me more about San Myshuno and your building in disrepair. I had a leaky roof last Spring so I slept on my neighbour's couch until it was fixed, but it was very annoying. That couch gave me a stiff neck.
What are your neighbours like?
Okay. Enough questions for now. I apologise for the long reply. I talk a lot. My cousins tell me all the time.
Hope to hear from you soon,