I’ve really been enjoying reading the book, An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice by Khizr Kahn. Khizr and his family are immigrants from Pakistan who become American citizens. They go through many trials and tribulations, but they continually encounter kindness and help from Americans in the midst of their adventures. I highly recommend the book.
As I have been reading the book, I reflected on the many people in Argentina who showed us kindness while we lived there for two years. It was a challenging two years. The culture is so dramatically different that I still struggled to understand it and to adapt even after two years.
I’ve been thinking particularly about Alejandro.
I met Alejandro because my oldest son was playing on a soccer team with his son, Valentino. I was breaking the social norms by being talkative to strangers and trying to make friends with the other dads who had kids on the team. He helped to try to tow our beat up car when it broke down and help me find a mechanic I could trust (Tito). He would regularly drive by our house to make sure we were okay. One time our house alarm was triggered when we were not there and he went and found us. When I sold our second used car, he came with me to protect me because I was paid in cash. I could tell that he was serious and he would have done anything to protect me. He advised me to be careful since the people from the car dealership had my address and knew I had cash. He just always seemed to show up when we needed some help. And, he helped us without expecting anything in return.
Alejandro told me shortly before we left Argentina that when he first saw me God told him to help me. And, that’s what Alejandro did. I will never forget his selfless care for our family. I want to help others, especially those who are struggling with a foreign culture and environment the way Alejandro helped me.