A Coloring Book, Then a Smile

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By D.R.Richards

Coloring for the first time, Amantani Island, Peru

The simple act of giving a child a coloring book on the high mountain island of Amantani on Lake Titicaca, where we have been taking small groups for years, bridges our cultures. It also helps reach out by giving a little something back. By no means is it as big as building a school, or other major project that other more established organisations are doing in Peru. As mother Teresa said, “Peace begins with a  smile,” and in this case a coloring book, then a smile.

We at Mountain Spirit Institute believe that to truly connect with others in our world, when we travel its good to reach out in anyway you can. Reaching out  might be that smile, the  coloring book,  or listening well to the people you’re visiting rather than building them what you think they need, a good lesson from Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea. Of course listening well implies you need a good interpreter or hopefully have studies the local lanquage, and I don’t mean Spanish.  Next time you travel, load up on some coloring books and colored pencils. Leave the chocolates at the city, and take some paper and pencils instead. The local kids will love it, and you’ll smile too.

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