Meeting Strangers

Today I went walking on the beach with Cino.    We had company  – Raquel, Darren and their beautiful 9 month old baby son, Koen, wrapped Mexican style on his Mexican mothers back.   They are staying with me for a couple of days, and its been my blessing and delight to cook and feed them, play with the baby, talk endlessly and enjoy their rapt attention in my stories.    Cino just wants to kiss and lick the baby, who is fortunately very encouraging, and not the least bit afraid of the blonde Rastafarian puppy.   I helped to bring Koen into the world 9 months ago, and I think my heart will always be somewhat knitted together with his – and with his parents.  Sharing that heightened emotional life altering few days was an unforgettable experience for me.

Raquel turned back half way down our normal route, tired and sweating – her small body carrying that solid little bubby is hard work.  Cino and I continued walking, she chased her ball and sticks and jumped into the water and chased other dogs – I continued to look for the silver South African ear ring I lost there yesterday, to no avail.

30 minutes later, returning to the pathway back to our car, I noticed a couple – stylish, even from that distance – standing and posing, photographing each other – wearing large Australian style bush hats.   As I approached, and Cino gave them a rapturous hello, the young woman responding likewise, I asked if they would like me to take a photo of them together?   He beamed, and I took several.   They are here for 1 – 2 years working, from Argentina and we fell into conversation, I told them Raquel was originally from Mexico, and we chatted about things to see locally.  I told them they were both incredibly good looking – they could be film stars.  They smiled, a little embarrassed – and we said our farewells – well, I kissed them goodbye, I must confess.   Ten paces away, I stopped, and on instinct, called out “Would you like to come to our home for a cup of tea?”

They did.   Raq fell into Spanish with them, and the conversation was rapid, but switched quickly to English, as Daz and I were out of the loop.   They want to live here, and Raq and Daz were advising and guiding and answering questions.   It turns out, they ARE film stars.   He is here filming the tourist spots of Australia, for a weekly TV travel show starting in Argentina in October, and she is a dancer and an actor.

As they left, Daz gave them his NavMan, as they were unsure about how to get to Jervis Bay from here.  I thought how generous is that?  

Daz said to Raquel, as I walked up from the beach with this young couple “You just gotta love Sandra, haven’t you?” which made me smile, and I told them I do not invite everybody I meet on the beach to come home with me.

But I DO remember being 17, and hitch hiking through Europe for 6 months, and living on the smell of an oil rag for 18 months in England – how the kindness and generosity of others, often strangers, helped me make my way in a strange land.   I was on occasion given a meal, or some money, or bought a cup of tea in a Lyons Tea Shop, and I recall how one small act can change a day – or a life.   

And its a privilege for me to contribute back to a young couple visiting our land from far away. 



Sandra GroomComment