I love this story...
For almost three years President Turk and I
have been driving back and forth to Chimbote.
I can't count how many times we have
driven this route but it has been a lot.
About an hour and fifteen minutes into the drive you come to
the little town of Chao...
The main street is lined with fruit stands and tents on each side.
The traffic gets a little thicker and there are people
everywhere... so you drive slowly down this section of street.
I always look at the children and what they are doing.
I spotted a little girl that was running a
watermelon stand. She was sitting in a chair just
watching the cars and trucks go by.... I caught her eye..
and I waved at her. She jumped up and waved back at me.
This started our waving tradition for almost three years now.
She knows our car.... and every time we pass her
we honk and wave at her.
She is the happiest little girl ever.
Today as we waved, I couldn't stand it any more.
I asked President Turk to please pull over.
I had to see her.
She watched as our car pulled over in front of her
watermelon stand. I waved at her to come to us.
She ran over to the window.
For Christmas I asked President Turk to please
just get me a ton of Peruvian coins that
I could give to the children selling gum and candy on the streets.
But today, as little Sandia came over to the window....
I grabbed the heavy little bag of coins and
handed her the whole thing.
It was heavy. She felt it and then looked inside and exclaimed
And we said si... si
She closed it back up and held it tight against her chest
and started to cry...
I started to cry and I had to put the camera down so that we could
grab each other and hug and blow kisses.
We didn't even ask her name or how old she was...
We were just caught up in the sweet moment.
We will always call her little Sandia... which means watermelon.
I think that she is around 11 or 12 now.
So when we started to wave at her she must have been 9.
She has to sit and sell watermelon every day
and she is always happy...
and she made me and the President happy too.
She is an inspiration.
No matter what your situation is... find a way to be happy!