The Banana Tree Lady by Andrew McMillan

I met Kenny at the airport in Medellin, Colombia. He was in his fifties, twice divorced and finished with marriage. He said it was too expensive because his first divorce cost him over a million bucks. Kenny makes money traveling around Colombia selling his water processing business. He showed me pictures of his toys- a Ferrari, a BMW cycle, fishing boat. His Ferrari was in a Pennzoil TV ad, which I thought was great. Then he told me a story. One day in Buga he saw a poor lady climbing a tree to grab some bananas. When he saw she had left her baby on the ground to climb the tree, he told the taxi driver to stop so he could talk to the lady. He found a translator to ask her about her life and needs. He then took her to a restaurant and summoned the owner. He asked him how much would it cost to feed the lady and her baby for one year. Kenny wrote him out a check for the full amount saying, “If I come back here and find out you have not been feeding her, I will kick your butt.” Months later, Kenny dropped by the restaurant and found the lady getting her food plus a full time job working as a waitress. She was enjoying the work and had her own apartment. Kenny looked right at me and said, “ No fast car ever gave me a rush like that.”

– Andrew McMillan

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