After basketball practice last night, the taxi driver and I got to talking. When I mentioned I was from the United States, he told me about his son who had just returned after studying in nursing school in Los Angeles. Already, he wanted to go back.
His two other sons were also world travelers. One has lived in Los Angeles as well for about two years, and the other in Spain.
For about $1.50, he gave me a 25-minute cab ride. I don't even want to think about what that would cost in NYC, DC or LA.
Yet on such a minimal salary, this man had sent all his sons off to developed countries.
I asked him why his sons had traveled the world, thinking maybe their dad had encouraged them. He said that maybe the reason was that the economic and political situation in Peru had been so bad while they were growing up. In the 1980s, domestic terrorists killed 60,000+ Peruvians and inflation was 40% per month at some points.
I told him that when I left for Peru, my parents were worried I would never come back, and it made them sad. I told him I imagined it couldn't be easy having his sons on three continents. He gave me a quick nod of the head and then we were at my house in Miraflores.