Saturday, July 17, 2010

Apparently, Clothes Do Define A Man

My parents are six months into a two-year mission in Peru. Last week they flew from Lima to the northeastern part of Peru to a city named Iquitos near the headwaters of the Amazon. During their travels they arranged for a tour of the Amazon river and jungle via boat. Their guide took them to a small native village so they could meet some of the indigenous people of the Amazon.

The tribe greeted my parents in their native dress...which turned out to be not much dress at all. In their culture, "less is more," and both the men and women simply wear skirts that go to about mid-thigh. Kids, prior to puberty, go al fresco.

The tribe warmly welcomed my parents...inviting my mom to dance with the women and making my dad an honorary tribal elder. My parents emailed us details and photos of their incredible visit to the Amazon.

Me: "Hey kids...come look at the photos that grandma sent us from their trip to the Amazon."

The family gathers around the computer to check out the pictures, and we get to a fuzzy photo of my mother dancing in a circle with the women. My daughters, ages eight and four, were not exactly sure what to make of the photo.

Me: What do you think of grandma dancing with those ladies?

Lauren (8): Those aren't ladies, they are men.

Me (pointing at their chests): I'm pretty sure they are ladies.

Lauren (confused): No mom, I think they are men.

Jenna (4, confident): Mom, they are men 'cause they don't shirts on.

Husband: (unable to comment because he is laughing so hard).

In my daughters' defense, the photo was fuzzy AND the defining female attributes of the tribe members had suffered from years of non-support.

Two lessons quickly learned:

1) If you want to be considered a lady, you need to keep your shirt on; and,

2) "Victoria's Secret" does not have a storefront on the Amazon.

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