Interview with Tabitha Wells, Mother of four miracles and Wife of Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Mark Wells at her gorgeous embassy home in San Isidro.
Who is Tabitha Wells?
She has devoted much of her time to her role in the family, being a mother to her children and supporting her husband’s role in the embassy.
She has always had a love for travel and global living. Her family has just now arrived back in South America after 6 years living states-side, though before that the family has lived in Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela. Her interest in living life at the global level, and especially in Latin America, can be traced back to her studies and involvement in international student programs where she taught ESL to Spanish speakers. It seems she was destined to live a large portion of her life in Latin America!
What is your favorite thing about Peru?
Since the family has only recently moved into the country, she has enjoyed getting to know people and the entire international community that they have been invited into. Just before arriving in Peru, in fact, the family dined with the family of the Peru Deputy Chief of Mission who serves in D.C. She called this night “a taste of Peru” not only because of the delicious Peruvian cuisine they tried but also because of the hospitality of the Peruvian family. If that night was any reflection of how life in Peru would be, she was all in!
What else does she love about Peru?
The food (ceviche in particular, which she tried in Bolivia, but of course, Peruvian ceviche is THE ceviche, or so she was told), and the climate. She explains that there are never too many extremes in the weather; it is either sunny or cloudy, especially when comparing Lima to her time in Colombia, where torrential rain and clouds were the norms.
What is something that you think can be improved in Lima?
She laughed and responded “the typical complaint, the traffic”. But she goes on to say that traffic is not endemic to Peru, it exists all over the world and is caused by a myriad of issues. She ponders the question a bit more and explains how festive the Independence days are here in Peru, how so very patriotic she found Peruvians to be. She then connects this to traffic, explaining that she wishes to see that kind of fiesta and joy among people stuck in traffic and that people act a bit nicer to each other rather than honking and grunting. She imagines that it too could become more of a communal experience like the patriotism and well-meaning she saw during Fiestas Patrias. Imagine if one day a Peruvian said: “we have the best time in traffic!”
What was the happiest moment of your life? Or maybe, the most emotional?
She gently closed her eyes to shuffle through the memories. A smile beamed to her face and she explained, her wedding day and the births of her four children. She explained that each child had their own special story of how they came into this world, and a lot of times, well, it seemed that miracles were at work. She finally decided that the happiest moment in her life was today, right now. It seems that every happy moment of her past has led to this very day, and she starts to cry. “My happiest moments make me cry”, she humbly explained through a smile. The event tonight and the days that follow have filled her with so much joy, and she couldn’t be more grateful to be apart of it.
How would you describe Noche de Arte in one sentence? And in one word?
“A chance for like-minded people from different cultures to connect over something beautiful, which needs no words or translations”. She explained that with art and an event like this, we can lead with our emotions to connect with others, we can bond over something that needs no words. And she is so very keen on connecting in a positive way with people. Complaining is certainly a form of connecting that can bond people, but having an opportunity to connect over something so human and raw, is what we should be striving for. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the one word she would use to describe the event would be “beauty”. The beauty of art and the beauty of how it connects people from all walks of life.
What is something you are very excited about for tonight? And, do you have any behind the scenes information that we may leak to our readers?
Tabitha explains that she is most excited about having time to spend looking at Peruvian art and gaining another insight into the culture. The behind the scenes info?
The way the event came together. It started out with a few interested people and a sort of synergetic force between Americans and Peruvians led this event to grow into what it is tonight. What struck her the most was the shared view and understanding by both Americans and Peruvians of how art could connect us with each other without a common tongue.
How do you view art? What are you thinking of when you stand in front of a piece of art?
“I am a concrete thinker” she explains. “I first say to myself, what is it? What is it depicting?” But then just a few days ago someone chose a particular photo to accompany her article about the event that made her feel so warm when she looked at it. She explains that it starts with the mind, the concrete thinker and then the emotion takes over, “how does it make me feel? What sensation does it leave you with?” Which begs the question…
What is the value of art? Should the youth be seeking it as a passionate hobby, a full-time career, or both?
When thinking of Einstein’s haunting words “technology has exceeded our humanity” it comes as no surprise that art’s value is its ability to create humanity. Tabitha thinks back to an art teacher of one of her kids who said: “we need art not because we need an outlet for our humanity but to be human”. Art is the language of the human soul; it connects us with ourselves and with others.
But should it just be a passion then or should the youth look to it as their career? She explains that “art now has so many more outlets than it used to…you are no longer just doodling something in your notebook”, now with technology, that doodle is uploaded onto social media networks and seen by thousands in an instant. So her advice, take advantage of all the new art forms and ways of getting your work out there.
Why should people come to Noche de Arte? How can we buy tickets?
Tabitha explains why in two terms: variety and size. Not only will there be master artists but also new ones, and with over 500 pieces on display, there is surely something for almost anyone.
How can we buy tickets? Tickets for this event can be purchased at the door! And because it is such a large venue, it is unlikely that it will sell out. “For the experience, you will get, it is not expensive” Tabitha explains. And if you are a continental card holder there is a discount!