Even though airline food is made for a small eater, in a miniature container with small utensils,it is appreciated.
The passenger seated next to me feels like talking, listening costs me nothing, and, at 30,000 feet up, since I’m not going anywhere except where this plane goes, I listen to my fellow traveler.
One pleasure of travel is meeting other people who are travelling too. Some people travel for business and have little choice about their trips. Other people travel because they like thrills and can pick their destinations. Some lucky people manage to combine both business and thrills.
Luis confides to me, as I peel back my lunch container’s cover, that he immigrated to the U.S. from Uruguay thirty years ago, and became an American. He self finances trips to Central and South America to take medical supplies to small towns and country folks who don’t have access to medical care. He runs medical training sessions for leaders, in little remote villages, so poor people learn to take care of their health crisis themselves.
When our plane reaches Lima, Luis transfers planes to make connections to San Salvador and New York.
On the runway, waiting for passengers to leave and others to board, I close my travel book on Uruguay and open the next Scotttreks chapter which will be Costa Rica.
Why, still stuck in this plane’s belly, waiting to lift into the air again, do I sometimes consider giving up a perfectly good life in my own country to be an outsider living in someone else’s country? Is there really a country better than the one I always return to?
After talking with Luis, another question, I ask myself, is why do some people feel such a heartwarming need to give back, while others just obsess on taking?