While we were riding the old German bus in Tirana (Albania), a gypsy girl entered. Seven years old. Most gypsy kids have a 'dead' look in their eyes. Hardened by the world, by what they have experienced. The Albanian gypsies live in slums, their children beg on the streets so that the parents can afford to buy alcohol and continue their addiction. Girls as young as twelve wash car windows at the stoplight, holding a baby with their other arm. Little kids lay down on the sidewalks of Tirana to catch some sleep and rest their dirty limbs. Everytime we saw this hardened 'dead' look in their eyes. But not this girl. She was radiant. A beautiful smile across her face, sparkling eyes. She just stood there, in between me and my two friends. Flip flops, black t-shirt, short messy brown hair which matched her tomboy personality. A joyful presence. She ... Read Full Story >>
On a hot summer day, a friend and I decided to go to the forest for a walk. We walked around for a while, and then realised that we should probably pay attention to where we're going so we wouldn't get lost. We noticed a marked trail and remembered that the trail started where we parked our car, so we started following it, only after two hours...we realised we were just looping around, and the part of the trail that was supposed to take us back to the car seemed nowhere to be found! So we diverted from the marked path, in hopes of finding our way back. We found a cycling path and followed it to a parking lot. Sadly it was not our parking lot! A map at that parking lot showed us where all the other parking lots were...and we noticed we were a long way from ... Read Full Story >>
There is one teacher at my school who's classes were particularly interesting. He actually taught us something new, something useful. About civilizations like the Kalahari desert people, or the secluded people of Orania in Africa and also the Amish. He would show us videos and was very involved in making his classes fun and not boring.
Soon after...I saw a movie called "pay it forward" and also found this website. I decided to surprise this teacher by putting some chocolate eggs into his mailbox at school.
I never found out what his reaction was, but I'm sure it was a nice surprise that he most definitely didn't expect!
During a day at work, a nice old lady walked in with her dog. She's a regular customer and usually very kind. I always imagine her to be the kind of lady who gets along with everyone, her dog even seemed to like the fact that she talked to him all the time!
As she walked over to the counter she asked me: "Do you like blackberries?" And she held out a plastic sack filled with blackberries. She told me she just picked them nearby, and told me to go get a napkin. As I put the napkin on the counter, she shook some blackberries out of the plastic sack, put them on the napkin, and heartily said, "Enjoy".
It was such a small gesture, but what a great way to spread some joy! I really enjoyed those berries, and the lady's kindness was also very refreshing.
I use public transport quite often. Trains, buses, subway, trams...all of the above. I'm hardly ever able to leave books or CD's behind on the train, as they cost way too much. So I had been thinking about cheaper things to leave behind.
Yesterday as I was sitting in the train I had a big bag filled with little sachets of candy with me. I was going to give it to some younger family members, but they would never be able to eat all of it. Then I remembered I had some smile cards with me and put one of the candy sachets with a smilecard in between one of the foldable tables in front of me.
The next passenger unfolding the table would hopefully be in for a nice surprise!