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Unforgettable Characters We've Met Travelling...

Evelyn Hannon
Strangers can simply be friends that we don't know yet. One of the reasons we travel is to meet and interact with new people along the way. One never knows who those folks will be and how the meeting will unfold. That is the pure pleasure and excitement of being on the road.

We asked members of the Journeywoman Network to tell us about an unforgettable character that they encountered along the way. We received some pretty wonderful tales...

A healer in Mexico...
He's known as Arturo the Huesero by the people in the little jungle village near the Mexico-Guatamala border, hours from any hospital. I know him as a miracle worker who gave me the mobility I have today. Broken in several places, my ankle looked like a marbleized blue and purple bowling ball streaked with red when friends carried me into Arturo's hut. With his eyes focused skyward, his strong, calloused hands kneaded the splintered bones until the sharp bits and pieces returned to their rightful places, no longer piercing flesh, tendons and ligaments. I left the village with my ankle trapped inside a cast fashioned from a banana tree trunk and Arturo the Huesero's healing hands trapped forever in my memory.
Geri, Oaxaco, Mexico

 

The map seller in the cemetery...
In Paris for the first time, one of the places that caught our attention was the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Many famous people are buried there and our guide said that we'd find it a pleasant place for a walk. At the front gate we located an older gentleman selling maps detailing where in the cemetery the well- known people were buried. Giving us the price, he also asked us where we were from. When we said that we were from the United States, he became very emotional telling us that America had saved France during World War Two. He was very grateful and refused to take our money. I will never forget that moment or his feelings.
Phyllis, St Louis, USA

 

A piper in Scotland ...
A number of years ago two friends and I rented a car and drove through Scotland. Following little roads, we were nearing the most northerly point on the mainland (in reality we were lost) and hadn't seen another person or car for the last half hour. Suddenly we came over a hill and there by the side of the road was a Scot dressed in full Highland regalia playing the bagpipes. Needless to say our immediate thought was we had crashed and the piper was there to guide us into the next world. We stopped to chat and found out his wife couldn't stand the sound of bagpipes so she dropped him off to practice and was going to come back to pick him up later. That unexpected encounter really made our day.
Linda, Toronto, Canada

 

Lion Man Dancer...
I was in MacLoed Gang, close to Dharamsala, India. A smiling young Tibetan, wearing a many hued checked shirt and tie plus heart shaped sunglasses handed me a flyer inviting me to his 'Lion Man Dance'. He was the creator, choreographer, promoter, and performer all rolled into one. He started by sharing his story of escape from Tibet then performing traditional dances from his village with athleticism, pathos, energy and grace. Then I watched as he engaged the audience with interesting, interactive dance. Dorjee's dream was to take his show to the West. I hope he made it.
Cedar, Cambodia

Editor's note: Check out this photo of Lion Man Dancer.

 

Our Russian Granny...
It was our last day in Moscow. My friend Kay and I were grumpy,walking back to our ship after a rather unpleasant experience at a small shopping center. That grumpiness didn't last long because along the way we encountered an old Russian babushka with a big smile for us. Kay gestured ... may I take your picture? The lady's face lit right up. She grabbed me and posed us, heads together, like we were mother and daughter. Her excitement was infectious and warmed us the whole rest of the way to the ship. We still smile when we think about our 'Russian Granny.'
Mary, Scottsdale, USA

 

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