Around 4,200ish meters of elevation while in the Salta province region of the Andes Mountains; near Seclantįs Adentro and Cachi Adentro, Argentina. I was reading Dreamcatcher on and off throughout the long journey to mountains. It was tough to stay focused with all the gorgeous scenery all around. For two of the days I was staying at the Finca Montenieva, a ranch ran by the Aban family. Even if I were a better wordslinger I do not think I could express the deep awe I felt from the natural beauties of the lands. Let me just say that this is a place where you can look at the night sky, without any instrument aids, and see in detail the Milky Way.
Even with all that went on in those short days I did try and sit down to sneak in a few pages. I did not get very far before the youngest son (8 years old give or take) who lives on the ranch came a sat down next to me. He was totally fascinated with the book in all aspects. It was hard to know exactly why because my Spanish was lacking and his English was worse. I found out why later after talking with his father and relaying his sons' fascination with the book. The son had turned shy and was hiding behind his father while we worked out the explanation for the fascination. Turned out that just about anyone in the region would have had great interest in the book. Books were hard to come by out there and books with English text are nearly nonexistent. The reasoning seemed so obvious to me then, this is a place where the kids still use horses as a mode of transportation to school. I was struck hard (not for the first time on the trip and certainly not the last) just how MUCH is taken for granted by myself and those around me in my American/Modern way of living.
There was no question at all in my mind then, the book simply must be gifted to the boy then and there. But the book was such a rare object that he was reluctant to take it at first. I absolutely insisted and after some back and forthing he finally excepted but only on the condition that I take his pocket knife in return.
So that was how I came to give away (for the first and only time ever) an SK book that I had started but not yet finished.
Shoe, that story touched my inner spirit. The book will be treasured by the boy.