Even though airline food is made for a small eater, in a miniature container with small utensils,it is appreciated.

The passenger next to me feels like talking and listening costs me nothing.

One pleasure of travel is meeting other people who are travelling too. Some people travel for business and have little choice. Other people travel because they like thrills. Some people manage to combine both business and thrills.

Luis confides to me, softly, 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 his own trips to Central and South America where he takes medical supplies to small towns and country folks who don’t have access to medical care. He organizes and runs medical training sessions for leaders in little villages in remote areas so they have skills to take care of their village health crisis themselves.

Luis tells me about  remote villages he has consulted in Guatemala and Chili, Peru and Nicaragua – all places I haven’t been yet.

When our plane gets to Lima and lands to pick up more travelers,he transfers planes to make his connections to San Salvador and New York. His wife doesn’t like to travel but doesn’t mind him doing what he loves as long as she gets some of his love and attention too. Tolerant women are a blessing to their husbands.

I close my travel book on Uruguay and open the next chapter on Costa Rica.

Why, i ask myself, in rational moments, 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?

Some questions have to be wrestled with,and, sometimes, it takes a big trip like this to get the wrestling match started.

Done with lunch, I wave good by to the Andes Mountains and wait for  Costa Rican jungles and rain forests.

There are answers for most of my questions, but finding those answers doesn’t always come easy.

An easy question is why do some people feel a need to give back while others just focus on taking?








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