We have been visiting Sr. Domingo and his family in the jungle of Canelos for two years now. Both he and his wife, Sra Laura, are in their 60’s. This family is among one of the poorest in the jungle. Although they work extremely hard each day in the jungles, they only make about $30 a month. On a recent visit to their home, they asked many questions about our home in Puyo, wondering aloud what is was like, as they had never been in our home before. So we excitedly invited them to come into town and visit us. We then decided on a particular day and time for their visit.
On the day of their arrival I met them at the bus station at the appointed time. I decided to pay the dollar and get a taxi so they would not have to walk the additional thirty minutes to get to our house, as their health is somewhat frail. I opened the back door to the taxi for the ladies to get in, and then told Sr. Domingo that he could ride in the front. As we are sitting in the taxi ready to go, I notice that Sr Domingo is still standing outside by the front door. Figuring that he might be chatting with someone, we just sat there and waited for a few minutes. Realizing though that he was just standing there, not talking to anyone, I leaned my head out the window to see what was wrong. He simply looked at the door handle, shrugged his shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” He did not know how to open the car door. We had to open the door for him so he could get in. Although we knew that they had never driven before, we did not realize that they had never experienced the ‘luxury’ of simply riding in a car.
This family has lived an amazingly full, blessed life in the jungle, all the while not even knowing how to open a car door. Oh the great lessons we learn from these beautiful people!