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Good Deeds Done by Journeywoman Travellers

Evelyn Hannon

In a recent newsletter item we asked Journeywoman readers to tell us about the good deeds that they've done on the road. As usual we were encouraged by the responses we received. We heard about everything from volunteering at orphanages, to helping little old ladies cross the street to saving a woman from her angry partner. While we couldn't include every one of the submissions we received in this article, we send our kudos to each and every woman who helped someone in need somewhere around the world. I'm sure that once you read a sampling of the stories we received you'll agree that JourneyWomen are truly a wonderful group of women with great big hearts!


I helped in an orphanage...
We were in Hoi An Vietnam for Vietnamese New Year and bought a ton of stuff to do complete pedicures (basins, cloths, nail polish, files etc...) and took it all to the teenage girls at the orphanage. We hung out and painted nails then left them all the supplies for them to enjoy to enjoy. Hoi An Orphanage is at 104 Nguyen Trung To Street, Hoi An City, Quang Nam, Vietnam.
Shelly, Castlegar, Canada


I helped someone with car trouble...
My good deed was in Mexico. My daughter and I were traveling by car from California to the furtherest tip of Baja, Cabo San Lucas. In the middle of the open desert, we came upon a young Canadian couple with a child who were also traveling and had car trouble. Their car just so happened to be the same make and model as our vehicle. It turned out their distributor cap had gone bad or become damaged from the rough roads. We had an extra with us (we are well prepared Journey Women) and had them back on the road within five minutes! There was no town or village for about 40 miles in any direction so it was a real lucky chance that we happened upon them at that exact time. We have performed many good deeds while traveling but that particular story is my favorite because it just seemed so strange that they had the same make and model car and that we just so happened to have an extra distributor cap. P.S. I just love your JW website and the wealth of knowledge it provides. It has been a treasure trove of information while planning trips. Thanks so much.
Dawnene, New Orleans, USA


I helped someone who was robbed in Spain...
We have a Thursday night tapas reception in Madrid for all volunteers. After tapas, a few of us decided to take the metro to the center and continue our conversations. I know well that the Madrid metro is a place to be acutely aware of pickpockets however it was a first visit for one woman in our group. As she was standing and reading a guidebook her passport, Euros and credit cards were stolen from her fanny pack. I felt so sorry that I had not been watching for her safety more closely! I decided to take her to a nice hotel in the area as they surely had experience with a loss of passport and who to call to cancel her cards. It took a few hours to resolve, the Hotel Opera was extremely helpful. We waited by her side and chipped in Euros for her immediate needs and were happy to be of help.
Catherine, Olympia, USA


I helped with directions...
While visiting St. John's Newfoundland, I helped a family from France who needed directions. They were struggling in English. I helped them in French and welcomed them to Canada.
Margaret, Montreal, Canada


I paid someone's bus fare...
My story is not a monumental example of helping another but it somehow sticks in my mind. I was on a shuttle from JFK airport to Manhattan. It was evening and a lady boarded the bus. She was from Canada and tried to pay with Canadian currency but the bus driver would not accept it. She seemed distraught and it was late. I said, "let me pay your fare". She was really grateful and asked me to write my address so she could repay me. It wasn't much money and I didn't really expect to hear from her again. However, several weeks later I received an envelope with a cashier's check for the amount. It made me feel really great that she was kind enough to take the trouble to repay me. The funny part was the sum was so small; about ten dollars (and was in Canadian currency) that the bank would have charged me more to cash the check than the amount of the check. I held on to the envelope and check for years as a reminder that we should trust strangers sometimes but not expect anything in return for a kindness. I always hoped someone else would do the same for me if I found myself in a similar situation.
Jamie, Phoenix, USA


I sent a bass guitar to Cuba...
While on vacation in Cuba three years ago, my husband and I became friendly with the stand-up bass player who played regularly with his group at the hotel where we were staying. Before leaving to come back to Canada, they presented us with a hand carved miniture stand-up bass. We gave each member of the group the remaining pesos we had; they were very grateful. When we got home, my husband went out and bought a bass guitar. An aquaintance of his, who works in Cuba for a Canadian company took it back to Cuba with him and surprised our musician friend with our gift. It felt good to give our friend something that he would never be able to afford on his own and he was overjoyed!
Janice, Cambridge, Canada


I supply free books...
I'm a retired children's librarian. When I travel I pack a dozen or so new children's paperback books in my bag. I've given them to kids, parents, grandparents in schools, shops, restaurants, and even on the street. In Mexico, Peru, and Ecuador, I took books in Spanish and left them for the housekeeping staff (along with a tip.)
Lynn, Tulsa, USA


I made people laugh at the airport...
I believe little actions make a difference. I was at an airport amongst a goodly number of people whose luggage did not come down the carousel. Of course many people were very agitated and were taking their frustrations out on the poor person at the counter. All I did was step up and started to make light of the situation and started joking around and speaking to people and getting them to laugh. I do volunteer work at a local hospital as a care clown and find that laughter is a very effective tool to make people forget their troubles or make light of them. As they say, it wasn't a major deed but it really did seem to diffuse what I thought was becoming a nasty situation.
Marion, Digby, Canada


I offerred duct tape...
My Good Deed happened while standing in line at Tom Bradley International Airport on my way to Japan via Taiwan. It was late at night and very hectic. In front of me stood a Taiwanese family with lots of big bags and several little children. They definitely had their hands full. For no apparent reason, one of their suitcases broke and popped open. I offered a pencil wrapped with duct tape. I've carried this same pencil on many trips and have never had a reason to use it. There was plenty of tape to tape up their suitcase. We exchanged no words, just quiet smiles. It was a touching moment. I now have a new pencil wrapped with plenty of duct tape (as well as lots of dental floss) ready to help out the next fellow traveler.
Christina, Texas, USA


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