Peruvians adore the United States. I have received such a welcoming from everyone I pass in my daily adventure. The people have a heart felt respect for American culture – and everyone wants to learn English.
Today, as I sat on the beach with my watercolors, a woman approached me and with a smile asked what I was doing with paints on a beach. We both laughed and began to talk about our families. She asked if I missed mine, and told me about hers emphasizing the fact that she has a son who is just about my age. Within a minute or two, her sister, her mother and her two children were all sitting by me asking about my paints. Her children gave so much interest in them, I pulled out an extra two brushes, and with a prayer under my breath that they would not destroy them I handed one to each.
It was almost immediately that two other kids about 4 years old swooped in, one without hesitation slammed herself into my lap and as we all laughed. The woman asked if I knew these children, I confirmed that I did not and pulled out two extra brushes.
We all sat and enjoyed the sun as it set over the Pacific with our paints. Her sister said she was studying English at La Universidad Cesar Vallejo in Chimbote.
And so our time spent together was over scrambled child sized paint blobs and English lessons written in the sand.
The two other children were in the middle of their shift selling chewing gum to those basking in the sun along the beach. The lady beside me told them to get back to work or their mother would be worried. So we sent them on their way with their painted pictures in hand. As the sun went down, we all went our separate ways. Of course we did not part until after we had taken a slew of selfies and found each other on Facebook.
I am daily humbled by the perseverance of these people. They work hard and love harder. I am fortunate to be so enveloped in this culture. I hope I am able to gain a similar outlook on life while I am here and continue these virtues when I return.