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Lesson number three: Talk to strangers. Ask them questions, and let them ask you questions. Be curious about others. Be kind with one another. Friends are found all over the globe, but friendship can only begin with communication. Maybe it’s only eye contact. Or maybe just a smile. Besides getting to know the other seven in our tour group, our tour guides, and the porters, I met a wonderful woman named Doris who was selling her son and husband’s artwork at one of the hotels we stayed at prior to our hike. D wore the typical Peruvian dress which, I must add, also included such a welcoming smile. I had some time to explore before meeting for dinner, so I stopped and talked to her for a good while. Between my broken Spanish, and Doris’ almost-fluent English, we conversed about our lives, how we ended up at the same hotel that September, and what we did earlier in the day. Although I didn’t have any cash on me at that time to purchase one of the paintings, (Note: I stopped by the next day to do so - they were all so beautiful!) she gave me a beautiful hand-made card that she had created as a gift. She explained - “Because we are now amigas! And you stopped to talk to me.” You never know whose life you can change (maybe yours) with a simple Allianchu - “hello, how are you?”

Ok, I only have two more lessons to blog about. Stay tuned...

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