I was trying to get out of Cúcuta and back to Medellín as fast as possible. Sitting in the back of the taxi I re-read the
I looked around the rest of the way to the airport. On the surface, it was much like the countless other small towns that I stumble through on the way to somewhere brighter and better. But then I looked more closely and saw the families playing in their yards, the children laughing, the workers enjoying their lunches at small local restaurants. These were poor areas that we were driving though and the people did not have much. But like countless others who I have met on this journey with little, they were genuinely happy with what they had. The reason I love photography so much is because you can find beauty everywhere you look. And that day I was again reminded of the beauty in the laughter and smiles of everyday people.
When we arrived at the airport, Juan jumped out of the taxi, grabbed my bag and shook my hand wishing me safe travels. As I reached for my wallet, he told me no, that it was on him and to use it to return someday to visit the sites of Cucuta when I had more time. It was a really nice and generous gesture. This was almost a day’s wage that he was willing to forgo as a sign of good will to me. I gave him the fare with a large tip and insisted he take it, telling him to put it towards a trip to Medellin. As I turned to walk away, I yelled over my shoulder, “Besides, you have to come, they have really good clubs and great restaurants too!” I heard Juan laughing as he got back into his cab and drove back through the dusty roads of Cucuta.