I am exploring the Andes of Peru with two friends who helped form Enlace Project, the grassroots organization that has been the vein for the Friends Project in El SAuce … they did all the organization of the school building.

Today, we were walking down the street of Arequipa, where we will visit Colca Canyon to see the giant condors.

We passed the Plaza de Armas and I thought how fitting a new evolution is: While I was in Las Minitas both Alcides and Paiyo, who helped with the school construction daily, asked for a U.S. flag to put up in the preschool.

I never intended that; it’s more than borders. But they asked and I thought about it and of course it’s right, it’s about partnering beyond borders, so a U.S. flag next to the Nicaraguan one that flies in all schools makes sense.

Our good friend and supporter Mike Hackett (Rochester, NY) immediately suggested he contribute a flag that was given to him by a service member of the U.S. military. The flag had been flown on 9/11 in Iraq and has a certificate, signature, the whole shebang.

I said yes, of course, but have been thinking of this lately and today it just settled in on me how perfect and special it is.

Whenever the guys in Las Minitas talk about the school or the scholarships, or other projects The Friends Project has completed with them or allowed them to complete with our resources, they discuss the “amistad,” or friendship between us.

This is a Spanish word that essentially means that, but to me is more than friendship. IN this case, our friendship thousands of miles apart and among residents who never met but believe in each other made this happen.

in the states, 9/11 is the single most example and symbol of Americans of all races, lifestyles and beliefs coming together in “amistad” to help each other, support each other and show unity.

thank you, Mike. Perfect.

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