Thoughtful gift

In the late ’90s, my wife and I took a Bolivia and Peru tour with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA), as I had always wanted to visit Machu Picchu. The group size was limited to just 16 people plus the tour guide. We saw a part of South America that few tourists see and had an overnight stay on an island in the middle of Lake Titicaca.

I had wanted to take something of value as gifts for people we might meet, but, at 13,000-plus feet, it had to be light! So I selected some 10 maps that I had saved over many years from National Geographic magazine, maps of South America, the world and our solar system.

When our group gathered in the morning in the town square, I mentioned the maps to our guide, for we had not visited a school. She led me over to the town hall, where a meeting of the town council was in progress, and mentioned to them that a visitor had a gift for the village.

When I showed them the maps, they opened them all and came over to shake my hand and reacted as if it was the greatest gift the community had ever received. I was truly overwhelmed by their appreciation.

I hope that my fellow travelers will be inclined to do the same. We have so much, and many others have so little — and adding to their knowledge helps everyone.

Savannah, GA