Isabela, Sebastian and I arrived in Quito a couple of days ago. Oh, how I love looking at the majestic mountains surrounding the city and the feeling of thin air again. I ask the kids which mountain name they remember from last year. I love having the kids see their relatives and friends of all ages coming over or going to their houses to visit.
Yesterday, we went to visit a house in the countryside up in the mountain of Pasochoa of an old friend of mine. After driving through the highway, we took a stone road for half an hour up the mountains to his house. We drove through little towns and and bumped into a couple of kids dressed up as local cowboys on horseback going to some local festivities.
Once I arrived to my friend´s house, I was amazed by the breathtaking view of the mountains and I was delighted to see my friend´s 12-year-old son preparing the barbeque for us.
My friend´s 16-year-old daughter later offered us coffee after lunch. She then sat with us to share a couple stories and tell us what she was going to do for the summer.
In Ecuador, I think because families live in the same cities as their relatives and because of the mentality, kids are brought up interacting with people of all ages. They are used to being active participants in everyone´s conversations and activities. Everyone sits at the adult´s table. Old grandpa—grumpy and a bit off and always requesting people to bring stuff to him— grandma, cousins, nieces or whoever happens to show up has a meal together.
I think that one of the best ways to teach kids tolerance is actually living it.