The Odyssey

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Rigoberta's Story
The Odyssey

Live Webcast, February 18, 1999!
Rigoberta Menchu
Crossing Borders
page 14

I slept peacefully for a couple of hours, and was awoken by the telephone. My companeros had been up all night, drinking coffee. The journalists, shivering with cold, were waiting outside in their cars. I got up and went to answer. It was the Norwegian ambassador in Mexico.

"In nine minutes," he said, "it will be announced that you have won the Nobel Peace Prize. Let me be the first to congratulate you. You have nine minutes to prepare yourself, after that the news will be out."

I still felt I had to ask if the news was official. He laughed. "I am the Norwegian ambassador in Mexico," he said. "It is my job to give you the news.

I still couldn't believe it. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I didn't know what to do. I just froze. I hung up and everyone asked, "What happened?"

I replied, "Well! We've got the Prize."

My companeros cried and cried. We were all lost for words. The priest at the church thought of lighting fireworks, and that set off fireworks all over the town. It was like torrential rain falling…

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