I took it while waiting with the family in a long line to ride elephants up to the Amber Palace in Jaipur, India.
The people in that photo were complete strangers to us at the time. They just happened to be standing behind us in line and Ethan and Cameron, being Ethan and Cameron ( and Ish’s children), struck up a conversation and then proceeded to challenge them in a series of hand-slapping games that ranged from Rock, Paper, Scissors to Tarzan, Jungle man.
We spent about twenty minutes together, but that entire time we were laughing and comparing notes on our visit to India.
Turns out they were visiting from Dubai. And when we mentioned that we were heading there after India they offered to connect on Facebook and told us to get in touch.
Understand that people say this to me all the time and left to my own devices I almost never get in touch.
I always assume that the people who said it were simply being polite. I have this vision where I call and they say, “Who?” followed by “Um, dude….I was just being polite.”
And so instead of risking the horror and shame of that moment I tend to steer clear.
The rest of my family has no problem walking headlong into the shame. And so as soon as we had our Dubai plans in hand, Ish reached out.
Not only were they happy to hear from us but the group – Larry, Leah, Leslie and Von (we’ve told him he should change his name to Lon for the sake of the alliteration of the group) – opted to meet us at Wild Wadi Waterpark on Friday and to take us for dinner on Saturday night.
That alone left me floored.
But then, when we meet them at the park, they hand us a bag with a present. Inside were these:
One for each of us sporting the photos (you might recognize them from both Ish’s and my timelines on Facebook) they took of our family in India.
WHO DOES THIS?
Who takes the time out of their lives to make t-shirts for virtual strangers? Who gives up one day of their weekend to hang with said weirdos and then takes them out for an evening meal?
And so many others.
It’s happened to us so many times on this trip. People stepping beyond what was necessary. Leaping over the stereotypes you’d heard. Breaking through what you expected.
China, Thailand, Kenya, India….and so many more.
And now Dubai. 3Ls, 1 V and us. In just a few short hours and with only a few small gestures they made the world a smaller, friendlier place yet again.
Don’t think for a moment we don’t know how lucky we are.
P.S. Big thanks to Larry for sharing his pictures of the day with us. :)
That really is stunning, Heather! With all the ugliness in the world it’s really wonderful when we realise that there are still LOTS of truly kind, friendly people in every country of the world. Hope you’re learning to reach out more – people will be so blessed to spend time with you and your family too.
You and your family are the perfect example of the great people we’ve met on the road! :)
This is what makes the world go around. What a great story. Reminds me of the time my girlfriend and I were treated to dinner, a place to stay and breakfast the following morning by an older couple who took pity on us after we had been turned away from an international border and had no place to stay). It’ss people like this who make a place so memorable.