I am ashamed to admit that I am frequently surprised at the number of kind and amicable people in the world. I’m still not quite sure why I think friendly people are so rare. Maybe it is more related to my lack of noticing them rather than their lack of existance. Perhaps my charitable mood during my travels caused people to open up to me and allowed me to notice and appreciate their goodness.
In any case, I encountered many caring people while I was away. Not just my wonderful American travel companions or the Peruvians we served, but strangers on my flights and the employees of the hotel where we stayed. On my eight hour flight from L.A. to Lima I sat next to an Indian (from India) student of the air force academy on his way with a buddy to Peru for Spring Break. He was polite, friendly and gracious. He humored me by looking at pictures of my boys and flattered me by saying how adorable they are. There was also a motherly woman next to me on my flight from Lima to Cusco who oogled over pictures of Cameron and Eli and chatted me through some wild turbulence.
I love it when the world feels small. I love it when all it takes to make a connection with someone is having one thing in common. What I already knew was the obvious, that we all have one thing in common. Our humanity. What I learned is that it really does unite us.
One evening Kim and I were wandering the streets of Cusco and came across these dancers. We watched them for awhile and after they finished I asked if I could take their photo. One young man grabbed my camera and pushed us into the picture where the others adorned our heads with their festive hats.
A couple in the market that I made some purchases from. He actually didn’t like this picture, and requested that I try again but the second one didn’t turn out.
Pepe and Ernesto are employees of Ascend that work with the American groups that come to do humanitarian work. They were so humble and Ernesto worked so hard to make us laugh.
This is Sabino. I bought this painting from him and then in his best English and my best Spanish we talked for 20 minutes. I showed him pictures of my family (what a proud mother I am!) and he told me about his love for art and “motos” and his bad motorcycle accident. I wanted to hug him when we said good-bye.
Teaching the kids the hokey pokey…
They told us to bring things that we could use to interact with kids. I brought this magnadoodle and asked the kids to “escribe tu nombre”. They loved it.