You fill me up and break my heart all at once. In your thick, green jungles you hold the secrets to joy and contentment, to true riches, and yet tear a hole in my heart. We have tread lightly and quickly on you.... your red soil. Come and loved and been so loved by you, and your people. We are changed by your beauty and the depths of the heart in your people.
You leave us with an aching to be more, do more, create more. People say we sacrifice by spending our time and our strength and our money, but it is you who sacrifice to open our eyes more fully. To really see, to be awake, to leave behind the mundane and sameness that life can become.
People say that Westerners have won the lottery on life, that we just got lucky being born where we were, and that is so true. And yet there is so much emptiness in the hearts here that your people seem to have found, richness that money can't fill. And yet it's heart breaking to see the orange, fragile hair that comes with kwashiokor and the poverty behind the neatly swept yards and brick houses. The medical problems that go untreated for years because of the lack.
So to say goodbye is what breaks me. To not know when I will see you again and experience those real friendships and the lack of self centeredness among my other Bolivian and American servants who share in the same understanding - of the heights of the Andes and the spacious valleys of the Amazon basin, and the love of your people.
To my new and forever friends, thank you for sharing your gifts and your hearts together with me. For being an inspiration by how you live your lives! I will forever be changed. To quote a friend on the trip, "I am truly the richest man alive". I shall say woman - and I get to come back home to a family that amazes me!