" " " "

Welcome To Vilcabamba
"The Sacred Valley of Longevity"

This Is A Privately Circulated Blog, scribbled exclusively for Friends & Familiars, that peers into and pontificates about Expat life in the hinterlands of South America. If your eyesight is less than optimal (like mine), then just click the type size up a notch on your browser..

Here you will find a series of curmudgeonly commentaries that I've posted from atop my rickety old soapbox for the past few years. And yes, there are indeed political rantings, so place your seats in the upright position and fasten your seat belts .... it may be a bumpy ride.


The Art of Giving

Most every morning there's an email in my inbox from Gary and Merri Scott, distant neighbors here in Ecuador. The emails are a combination of information about Ecuador, global investing tips and offers of various seminars they conduct. But today's was different.

On this day after Christmas, Gary reminded his mailees about the English practice of observing Boxing Day. The purpose of Boxing Day in Great Britain and Commonwealth countries is to give gifts to the poor. In days gone by, discarded gift wrappings and boxes were reused to wrap gifts to be given to the poor people who served or worked for the "Gentry". Here in Ecuador, we do that sort of thing, but with a twist.

The day
before Christmas a box filled with food and "drink" is given to those who work for us, along with an appropriate amount of cash. The rest of the year our Ecuadorian workers toil to serve us, the day before Christmas is their day to receive. Yeah, I know, one day out of 365 and a box of goodies in return for all those hours of work (at only an average of $2.00 an hour wages) doesn't sound like a fair exchange. But it's called "tradition".... whether in London or Vilcabamba. But here in Vilcabamba, some of my friends and neighbors took this yet another step. They spent two days giving out hundreds of bags of food and other essentials to poor families throughout the Valley of Longevity. Many of the children they were able to reach had never received Christmas gifts in their entire lives!

It made me think about my own abundance, the "gifts" that I continually receive from others. There are so many people who have helped me to succeed in my life, and I have continually tried to keep the scale balanced by my giving in some kind of proportion to what I have received. What about you?

Actually, every day can be Boxing Day if you let it. What a marvelous "tradition" that could be. Feliz Navidad!

No comments: