Life in South America cannot even compare to our lives in the North. While life here may appear fast-paced, there is a leniency that does not exist in our North Western culture. If you say you will meet someone at 4:00, its not uncommon to be nearly an hour late. This is not a lie, but merely a different understanding of the concept of time. You get to something when you get to it. If it doesn't get done, there's always tomorrow or the day after. People here do not seem to be put out by tardiness.. They just go with the flow. Even the river here seems to flow a little slower than the one back at home. While the current is just as strong, the pace sets it apart.
The people of this amazing Southern culture are quick to forgive as well as to love. I cannot count how many sweaty cheeks I have kissed, how many damp shoulders I've embraced or how many clammy hands I've shaken. I've greeted many a stanger with a smile and many friends with hugs. I like to say that a personal bubble one may have in North America will pop the moment one lands in Iquitos.
I love this country, this city, this culture, these people.