He was 5, probably not 6, years old., one of the indigenous children who I see daily working on my street. He was sitting, shoe shine box at his side, back against a cement wall, hugging his bent knees against his chest and tears streaming down his cheeks.
What's wrong ? "They robbed me of my $ 10"", he said. That was a lot I observed and, sniffling, he nodded his head, yes. He was truly hurting and, probably, worried about going home to his family without the much needed income.
No, I don't believe that I was set up suck money from my wallet. I have been taken by the best con artists and amateurs alike; but, I live on this street and I have a great respect for the indigenous people who are seen everywhere, working hard, long and always with a ready smile and true gratitude for your business. I have seen this little boy hustling to give shoe shines when he should have been in school. I gave him $ 10 .
This street and the people who fill it daily represent my community. There is a bond that makes spending time in Ecuador such a warm, memorable experience. I don't think that $ 10 was too much for the good feeling that giving it gave to me.
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