After having not received Mr. Valera's phone call, I decided to take a stroll to his home. I saw some men unloading merchandise from his house, and when we made eye contact, it was as if we had known each other. He received me into his home and we began talking. He told me, "Dígame a ver m'ijo, ¿En qué te puedo ayudar"? (Tell me son, how can I help you?) I told him that I would like to thank him first for his wonderful book of genealogy. He humbly looked downwards and accepted my praise. I told him that thanks to his work, I can now do my work. He added that Baní is the only town with such explicit records in the entire country. I was amazed at the wealth of knowledge that he demonstrated in the 20 minutes that we talked. When I told him that I was an anthropologist, he drew closer to me and said, "I can tell you many things that I cannot speak of with people from here." When I told him that I was looking for the Jews/conversos, he began telling me his genealogy. I was amazed that he knew his entire genealogy by heart, going back to Andujar, Jaén, Spain. He is a descendant of Rodrigo Sanchez de Segovia, one of the Jews that saild with Cristobal Colón to Hispaniola. I told him that the Dominican people have many customs that they do without knowing their origin. He agreed with me completely. He spoke of some aristocratic Dominican families and their origins, without necessarily stating that they were Jews. He understood it as such due to his genealogical investigations. Furthermore, Mr. Valera made genealogical connections with people, linking them back to Spain. When he asked me if I had family from Baní, I told him, "yes!" He asked, "which families?" I answered, "Araújo y Lara." He immediately said, "Oh the Araújo are Portuguese." He also told me that he descended from the Lara family and explained the entire genealogy. He added that his grandmother would always speak about the Lara's. At that moment I was convinced that he knew exactly what he was talking about. Unfortunately, it seemed that he was in a rush and had to attend his daughters that came to visit for the weekend. At that moment, he told me that he had called twice, without avail. Following, he invited me to come back and call him first. I realized that I didn't have his number and neither could I ask him, since I knew that he would write it down and then hand me a paper with it. Since it was Shabbath, I neither wanted him to write it down, nor was I in a position of carrying anything in the public domain. I guess that I will have to go back by surprise.

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