Since I’ve stepped off of the plane and started visiting schools here in Montevideo, I’ve been getting enthusiastically hugged and kissed by both old and young. I’ve visited about 6 schools so far and at each school, the children have erupted in spontaneous demonstrations of affection. Each performance has finished with a mob rush towards me, hands extended, hugs offered and little notes passed to me from several of the children.
The actions of these children tell me more about the adults here than anything I could ever learn in an interview. These affectionate children demonstrate to me that their homes are filled with loving adults who care and nurture their little spirits towards acceptance.
At one of the schools a teacher, her name is Florencia, gave me an affirming embrace. The children cheered her name and forced her forward following my performance. I could see that the children loved and respected this teacher. She embraced me and spoke of her appreciation for the work I was doing with the children.
Years ago I sat with a brother of mine as he was near death. His words to me were, “Touch is a key to truly knowing what life is about.” I try never to forget that.