I have recently finished Sebastian Junger’s book called Tribe: Homecoming and Belonging. His thesis is that “We have a strong instinct to belong to small groups defined by clear purpose and understanding–“tribes.” This tribal connection has been largely lost in modern society, but regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.”
I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru between 1963 and 1965 in a small Andean town called Pucara. I became close to the Ureta family, whose youngest son, Hugo became my Godson.
I have been back twice and remembered each time. Hugo came to Washington to be with Betsy and myself on our 50th wedding anniversary.
The following are emails I recently received from Hugo’s son, Nikolas, and my response:
Dear Charles and Betsy,
What a delight to here from you!
And what a delight to have had your Dad and brother come visit us during our 50th wedding anniversary. It was just a pure pleasure to have had both of them here.
It is amazing how lasting our contacts with the Ureta family are, particularly with your dad, but also with the rest of the family. And Pucara continues to be one of my very special places. You all are very important to us, and continue to be very much a part of our family.
And, of course, you are truly welcome in Washington. As the time gets closer, we can be more specific.
And your English is pretty amazing! Your writing is really fluent.
Betsy sends her love to everyone.
Many hugs and blessings,
My insight about belonging to a tribe is that members can be interconnected even though they are separated by distance. And that is clearly the sense that I have about our relationship with our friend Roy Lara in Honduras. He is closer to me than many people I know.