A stranger’s kindness is a pleasant surprise nowadays. More so when you come across this kindness when traveling; it helps you believe that are still genuine people in this world. People that aren't wrapped up in their everyday world and aren't being able to see outside their own universe and know that there are other people in this world. Unfortunately traits like kindness, being caring, helpfulness and courteous towards strangers is becoming a dying occurrence in society; at least in the United States. Though random acts of kindness do occur, it’s not as often as it should be. This is why traveling to me is so important, you learn different cultures and connect with people you wouldn't have if you didn't go traveling. For example, I've notice people from Japan and Latin American countries that this trait of kindness is still in so many people, it’s refreshing.
A person named Homer, my dad and I met in Iquitos, Perú is a perfect example of someone who has nothing but kindness and a good heart towards people. My dad and I met Homer on the streets of Iquitos; he was educated and spoke English well. He had no family and loved living in the rainforest just outside of Iquitos. Homer was the kind of person that loved sharing his knowledge and loved learning more from others; he was just a genuine person. Homer asked if we liked to stay in the jungle a few hours boat ride down the Amazon River at his campsite and go hiking around the forest. Without hesitation we quickly accepted and found ourselves on a long thin boat heading down the vast river of the Amazon.
In the forest Homer was eager to teach us what he knew and show us what there is in the jungle. He taught us how to make termite mosquito repellent, how to fish, track animals and how to prepare food at the camp. His kindness and generosity was overwhelming and very invigorating.
Once we got back to the Iquitos Homer showed us around town. Introducing us to various locals and taught us about the local history and customs of his town. In exchange my dad and I took him out to dinner and had a cena de pollo at a local corner restaurant, Homer’s choosing of course. Afterwards he took us back to a hostel we were staying at and we said our goodbyes.
Homer mentioned one of his dreams was to visit the United States and France one day (a reason why he learned English, and inspiring to learn French), and I told him that if he was ever in the United States to let me know and my home will always be open to him. His unselfishness and good will is something that I will never forget and cherish. It is these types of people that you met along the way on your journeys that make it worth every moment that you are traveling. Largely in part of Homer’s kind spirit that Latin America is one of my favorite places to visit. It wasn't just Homer that showed kindness but many people in and around Perú and Ecuador. I hope to visit other countries in South America as well and continue my journeys and experiences, but most importantly, continuing on making friendships.