I apologize for the long delay since my last letter. I have no excuse besides my own idiocy in allowing my wallet to be stolen. I have been working odd jobs around the village in order to earn my keep, and will soon have gathered enough to be able to leave said town and continue my travels.
Before moving on I feel I must present to you an account of my adventures since my last letter. Presently I am lodging in a small room on the outskirts of what passes for a large city out here. The woman who owns this place was kind enough to allow me room and board in exchange only for my help with some chores – gathering firewood, repairing household fixtures, and such. She has a grandson – well, I know that they are not related, and that she adopted him after he was abandoned as a baby. They have been very good to me since the beginning. I feel greatly indebted to their generosity. The house is not in the best condition, but I have promised to send them more materials for repairs and the like after I have returned home.
You see, most of the people were somewhat hostile to having a foreigner, a stranger from faraway lands, in their own little hometown. I can’t blame them for their coldness. I don’t believe most of them have seen a white man like myself before. The locals shunned me, except for one bold child who approached me with the curiosity and naivety that disguise themselves as bravery in children. I hardly knew his language, and he not at all mine, but he must have somehow known and understood my weariness. He took me to his grandmother, and they took me into their home. Eventually the others came to accept me as well, but I cannot prey off their generosity forever. Soon I must move on.
There must be some sense bestowed upon children – they, who have always been affected by and affected others the most, are able to see something that we cannot in the faces and gestures of others. And they, those little ones who open their hearts most generously, they are the ones most often hurt by the coarseness of mankind…
I do hope that child will keep his gentleness beyond his boyhood. It is a rare man who does – men are too frightened to understand each other – but it is a rare gift to those who do. I wonder, have I…?
Enclosed is a photo of the village; you see what conditions these people live in! I could not bear to have known them and not have eased their burdens at least a bit. And they tell me that there are much worse places to be found – will I find them?
I will leave here in a few days to make my way home. We shall see each other soon, I promise. Until then.
Yours, anywhere in the world.
(The actual photo on the card is by Barbara Hanson)