Trujillo, Peru – October 2014
I’ve had my share of strange jobs. Painting over handicapped parking spaces in the military, spending my weekends with the homeless as a superhero, and helping those who hallucinate “come down” safely while working at an ayahuasca retreat are the first that come to mind. Unfortunately, the weirdest job of all slipped right under my nose.
I spent October 2014 teaching English in Trujillo, Peru. I lived at a hotel with the family of the other English teacher, who owned the hotel. I went out exploring most afternoons but otherwise spent my time with the family. Linda, the other English teacher, and went out often at night.
She had a secret reason for going out.
She shared her secret with me on my birthday. More specifically, she brought me a cake while wearing her secret. She owned a business called Detallitos con Amor (Details with Love) and nights and weekends, she dressed as a teddy bear and delivered flowers, chocolates, and birthday gifts.
Once she let me in on the secret, she invited me with her to take pictures.
It was fun to see the happy surprise on girls’ faces when they opened their front door to a teddy bear with chocolate and flowers.
She allowed me to try on the suit after a week. I had to crouch a little bit, but my elvish legs finally benefited me: the suit fit! Next up came a birthday party. Linda offered to let me wear the costume to deliver candy. I accepted, like any sane person would, then suited up and started memorizing the words to Feliz Cumpleaños.
As we got ready for the mission, Linda got a phone call. The birthday girl’s grandmother had greedily died just before our moment of glory. We had to cancel the delivery. The death was a pretty bad birthday surprise if you really think about it.
I was leaving Peru that week and was unable to don the bear suit and deliver cheer before I left. I was able to dress up and deliver a gift to Linda’s grandmother as consolation… it wasn’t the same.
To this day, delivering for Detallitos con Amor remains the best job I’ve never had.