Long ago, in southern Italy, my husband and I occasionally found ourselves with nothing to do on a Sunday.  It sounds silly, but we usually took the foot-ferry into Brindisi, walked up the (closed) main drag, and hung out at the stazione looking for lost tourists to assist.  We seldom had to wait long.  There they’d be, hesitantly glancing at the train schedules, trying to figure out how to read them.  We’d walk up and say, “Do you need some help?” and the inevitable response was, “Oh, thank goodness!” or something to that effect, in English.  We’d teach the travelers to use the schedules and then leave.

Almost two decades later, we were living in Italy again.  One of the first things I was asked to do was help an American priest get to his lodgings so he could say Mass at our little Navy base.  He missed his train from Rome.  Having been in country less than a week, he had no idea how to read the train schedule.  He telephoned, I talked him through it, then reviewed the lesson when I picked him up in Formia.  He became a family friend, which was wonderful, and he never missed a train again – at least when he visited us.

Today I was at the airport and ran into a church friend.  I had the opportunity to help her with her bags and with the self check-in process.  She was grateful, and so was I.  Once again, I felt as though I’d really helped a fellow traveler.

Life’s short.  Pay those favors forward.

 Heading to Indianapolis?  White River State Park is a great downtown destination.  Besides, a cute kitty lives in the Visitor Center.

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