Saturday, December 19, 2015

There Is So Much Good

We just got home from the most magical vacation which I promise I will tell you about. I also promise I will post my Christmas Letter. It's also pretty magical but definitely not in the same way.



I have probably 1000 pictures to sort through and the same amount of words to say on this vaycay but tonight I would like to focus on the people of Porto.

My heart happens to be super full and also really emotional right now and I can't help but think about the Portuguese people and how freaking kind they are. I told David as we walked to the car today after our flight that my hope in humanity has been restored, at least for a little while.

It started at the airport where there were workers whom I think were meant to help people like us navigate the Metro. Without prompting or even having to ask, one came up to us and helped us figure out where we were going and what tickets to get.

It happened again when we got off the Metro at Trindade (a larger station) and were obviously looking a little out of place with our 4 suitcases, and blonde little Nevie (she was quite the star this trip). A woman stopped to help us out but not only that, she walked us to our next connection.

From there, our host from Airbnb picked us up from our stop, helped us with our luggage, and showed us around in his car, spent probably an hour or so giving us a little tour and then in the apartment, showed us maps, gave us all the best info, and told us not to hesitate to text him. He went up to his other apartment just to grab toys for the kids. He also even helped Jackson clean off some yucky stuff (crap) from his shoe saying in Portugal, it's good luck. :-) I don't think a lot of those things are required from hosts but he went above and beyond. It was by far the best experience I've had with Airbnb so far.

We were eating one night and a cook from the back, a sweet older woman came out, and kissed each of the kids' heads. Nevie even gave her a hug. She didn't speak any words really. Just loved on them.

The tour bus driver broke the rules for us and allowed us to split our ticket so we could separate when he shouldn't have. He literally split our receipt in half, wrote some words on it and signed his name. This is all such a different thing for us because in Germany they very much obey the rules regardless of what they are. My favorite saying of the Germans is "It's not possible". lol.

Another night, David and I went to eat and we stopped at this super cute store to pick out some magnets. The woman didn't speak English that well, yet we still asked her where her favourite restaurant was located. She wrote it down for us, gave us a cute little reusable bag and sent us on our way saying "I hope you like". The food was delicious and her smile was infectious. 

On our way home one night, we must've looked lost again because this other sweet woman walked us pretty dang far to the Metro. I'm talkin' uphill. Down the elevator, and most definitely out of her way. I swear she was our guardian angel because we saw her later at the market.

Chelsi and I ate at a little café on the corner and the service was excellent. He came to our table probably 6 times to check on us, making sure everything was just right. It was so wonderful!

On our trek to the Metro today for our flight home, Jackson was having trouble with the stairs. This small lady didn't say anything, she just picked up his suitcase and carried it 2 flights up the stairs.

It didn't even end there. There were so many other events but I am overwhelmed by these. I am writing them down mostly for the sake of remembering but also because I want to remind myself to be the kindness even in this crazy holiday season! I'm crying as I think about all of these small acts of kindness, most of which were done without words. I definitely have something to strive for. Thank you Portugal!

What is a small and simple act of kindness that has made a difference to you?

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