The kindness of strangers to the strange (Drive Day 138: Nov 14th, 2003)

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The drive up and out of Manta passes through lowlands that look prehistoric – we stop to ask why the bamboo houses are up on stilts and find out that everything ground level gets flooded each January and February. A little girl wonders if our house is on wheels to stay out of water too. And then she brings us a basket of fresh-picked mangoes: her gift to us for the dangerous drive up the mountain on a trip she can barely fathom. We gorge on them at the gas station where we have to spend the night. The sticky sweetness feels like a continental welcome in a country that hadn’t seemed so lucky to my father the first time around.


Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.


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