May 5, 2010


It is difficult to document such an abstract concept as hospitality, except to describe the absolute fullness in my belly from the mounds of food and repeated portions I have been served even after refusing the subsequent and unnecessary helpings, the heartfelt gratefulness of being pampered as a guest where I am forced to relax and constantly asked if I need anything, and the frank surprise at the love given to me by complete strangers who have taken me into their humble homes, given me everything they have and even things they don't have, and treated me with such care and welcome that tears arise to my eyes. My astonishment is partly due to the the fact that you rarely find this exceptionally generous and in fact insistent hospitality in America, partly because of my guilt that some of the poorest people in the world are sharing with me what it has taken them an absurdly unfair amount of effort to earn, and partly for the simply touching nature of giving that is so essentially human but which is so frequently eclipsed by selfishness and thoughtlessness and is thus a rare jasmine blossom amidst the putrid and multidudinous waste of this place.

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