Matrimony in a Chilean Mine

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Trapped in a Chilean gold and copper mine 2,300 feet underground, Esteban Rojas asked Jessica Ganiez to marry him. Rojas, 44, has now been trapped with 33 other workers for more than three weeks. Today, officials began drilling a rescue shaft to reach the miners, but they estimate it may take four months to get them out.

Rojas used a piece of paper and a small "grapefruit-sized" portal to send her the proposal message.  "When I get out," he wrote, "let's buy the dress and we'll get married." Ganiez said yes. Although the couple has been together for 25 years and raised three children together, they never had a big wedding.
 

Ganiez's joy was unbridled when her wedding proposal emerged from the duct. "I thought he was never going to ask me," Ganiez told The Mirror. "We have talked about it before, but he never asked me. I think it's a good idea."

Still, Ganiez said she had a bit of trepidation when, on Sunday, she finally got the chance to speak with Rojas through a line rigged down into the mine. Each miner only had 20 seconds to converse, and even with a wedding proposal in hand, Ganiez feared the "W" word might not actually come out of Rojas' mouth.

"I was worried he might not mention it again," Ganiez told CNN. "But he said we should get married in church. He'd asked me if I've already chosen the dress." Ganiez managed to use her fleeting seconds to tell Rojas the answer was yes.

Now Ganiez is setting up a bridal registry -- a new refrigerator and a food cooker are on her list. But she confided she misses her intended terribly, and will wait as long as it takes to hold him in her arms once again.

"We know the rescue will take a long time, but we won't lose hope," Ganiez told CNN. "He always said he planned to grow old with me, and I plan to grow old with him. Our love is very deep."

Read the full story at TODAYshow.com.

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Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

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