After one night at the hotel on the island in Flores, they had seen their parents safely onto an airplane before the twins and their wives took a private jet to Guatemala City.
They were there to visit the office of the National Registry of Persons and get the process started which would establish Tiani as a person of record in the Republic of Guatemala. Having been born in the jungle village to a midwife, she, and everyone else in the village, had no record of having been born. This was common in Guatemala since there were so many indigenous tribes spread out in the jungles living in isolation. There was no need for a record unless someone planned to travel to another country, and Levi had promised to take Tiani to his village in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Guatemala City was massive compared to anything Tiani had ever seen and she was quickly overwhelmed. Levi tucked her protectively under his arm and led her to the places she needed to go. This was a complete role reversal from the confident tribal leader who guided the American scientists through the dense jungles around the temple pyramid. Levi worried how Tiani would handle the United States.
Tiani wasn’t thrilled with the idea of someone taking her photograph. But when Levi explained that this was the only way she would be allowed to travel with him to see his village she reluctantly agreed. Not until after Levi demonstrated the process.
Levi sat in the proffered chair at the photography studio and smiled, waiting for the telltale flash and then he relaxed. The photographer invited them to come around behind the camera to see Levi’s image on the digital screen. This helped Tiani understand that no one was actually taking something from her.
She still didn’t understand how the face got on the screen like magic, but she allowed Levi to guide her to the chair.
Levi backed up and stood near the cameraman making funny faces at Tiani until she smiled. This felt like working with a baby, but they eventually obtained a digital image that was acceptable for an identification and passport.
This was one of the last hoops to jump through while honeymooning in Guatemala City. The final printed documents, plus her newly created birth certificate, would be mailed to the base camp in Flores where they would wait to be picked up prior to flying to the States.
While he and Tiani were working with the government to prove she existed, Levi sent Nicholas and Becky on a quest to find a bookstore or a teacher’s supply store to purchase instruction books on reading and writing Spanish and English, along with writing materials and a few simple books.
In his spare time Levi planned to teach the people of the tribe how to read and write. They already knew how to speak and understand Spanish, and others besides Tiani had expressed interest in learning English. The instruction would be quite different from teaching a lecture hall full of college kids, but at least Levi knew how to teach. Very few tribes in the remote jungles of Guatemala would have the benefit of an American professor move into their village.
On their second night at the hotel in Guatemala City, Levi almost couldn’t get Tiani to come to bed because she was so fascinated with the books Nicholas and Becky had found. She was like a sponge soaking up all the knowledge she could.
Levi promised to teach Tiani more in the morning and enticed her with kisses, tempting her with the one desire she craved even more than knowledge. The one thing Levi craved more than anything else in the world.