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Good neighbors are a treasure. First Berta comes by with a box of fresh strawberries. These are always perfect, because they are from her daughter and son in law who are growers. They were delicious with brown sugar and lime juice.

The doorbell rings and Leila comes in, holding a beautiful straw hat painted with flowers. She says, “This is for you, you wear big hats.” Yes, I do, and thanks!  It’s perfect for summer in Peru, with a big brim and those great flowers. Leila even added the band and matching pompoms at the back. I couldn’t find a hat like this if I looked everywhere.

Days like this are why I always say that what is best about Peru is my wonderful neighbors.

Sometimes there’s a chance to chip in a little, like lending a plastic table and chairs for a few days, or cutting some parsley from the garden.

We had a get-together for Maria-Louisa and her sisters and their families. Many years ago, the sisters spent part of their summers in the house that is now ours. Having dinner together was a lot of fun and the sisters reminisced about what it was like when they spent the summer. The oldest sister remembers when their family owned a neighboring house, but that was when she was an only child……The children were only moderately interested in the fact that their mothers, aunts and grandmothers used to live here, but the adults enjoyed it thoroughly.