Today, I was reminded of a time back a few months ago when my travels took me to Loveland, Colorado, where I stayed at the most delightful bed and breakfast. My hosts, Christine and Brandon, were absolutely the most gracious and attentive hosts I have encountered in many miles of traveling.
On my first night, right after I checked in, another guest arrived and was introduced as just getting here from China. Lida, was a breath of fresh air! She spoke with broken English, yet communicated surprisingly well. After settling in, Lida disclosed to me that did not understand how our money exchange worked. All her American dollars were consumed by her rental car agreement, leaving her with little money to enjoy her stay in America–something she had been planning for 15 years.
Recognizing the plight of this dear woman, I offered to drive her up to Estes Park so she could experience the magnificent scenery of the Rocky Mountains. I also promised to treat her to her very first ice cream cone.
We spent an entire Friday driving up to the “top of the world” as Lida would say. She had never before smelled air so fresh and clean. She explained that it is very hard to breathe without masks in Beijing, where she lives, and that they have to wear special garments to cover clothes to protect them from pollution.
Lida taught me so much that day, as she answered every question that I could think of about her life in China. We had a great time, though we did get a little lost coming down off the mountain; but we even had a good time with that.
It was a wonderful adventure, and I have gained a new friend from the other side of the world. I am now keeping in touch with Lida through email, so guess you could say I got a pen pal out of the deal.
Traveling and meeting new people is such an incredible blessing, and it was especially fun to share my love of Colorado with such a special lady!