Everyone has different reasons to love Christmas, some love the idea of holidays, great food, Christmas songs, the Santa Claus while others love the fact that they’ll finally get to reunite with their families. She was just another girl eagerly waiting to see her father after a long time on Christmas Eve. She was going to take off with her mother and land in Peru where her dad would be waiting for them. This flight never landed in Peru though.
This is the story of pain, separation, struggle, wildness, heartbreak, and even worse, destruction.
Family Of Researchers
Hans-Wilhelm Koepcke and Maria Mikulicz-Radecki, two German students met at the University of Kiel. They together moved to Peru for further research after completing their graduation. In Peru, they studied birds and wildlife, flora and fauna. Later, they got married. The couple shared similar interests and went on writing several books together.
Juliane Margaret Beate Koepcke was born to Hans-Wilhelm and Maria Koepcke on October 10th, 1954 in Lima, Peru. Her father was a zoologist, ornithologist, and herpetologist while her mother was a known ornithologist who did great research work with Neotropical bird species was stationed in Pucallpa, Peru. Being their only child, all her wishes were fulfilled.
Being born in a family of researchers Juliane’s early childhood days were quite different from normal kids far from her motherland, Germany she was raised in Lima. She used to go to research trips with her parents every now and then. Just like her parents, wildlife amused her. She learned so many things about the jungles that no ordinary kid would ever know in school.
Christmas Around The Corner
Juliane was 17 years old and it had been some months since she spent time with her father. Maria planned on being together with her husband during Christmas and that’s how it all started. A family trying to be together on Christmas seemed like a valid wish. This plan was actually going to meet a drastic end.
At first, Maria’s plan was to leave for Pucallpa a couple of days before Christmas as she didn’t want to deal with any last moment to sneak away from the Christmas rush. But her 17 years old daughter, Juliane insisted they should stay for her graduation ceremony. Knowing that it was once in a lifetime moment for her daughter, Maria agreed.
A Risk On Life
They wanted to be in Pucallpa but as it was festive season most of the flights were booked and they were only left with an option to book a Peruvian airline nobody would like to fly with as their first option. Everyone’s concern was right because this airline didn’t have a very good reputation due to two recent crashes.