On Monday night we picked up our friend from the airport. As we greeted her and her baby by the baggage claim, our friend was trying to help a woman who clearly didn’t speak English. She was from Uzbekistan and only spoke Russian. Our friend knew four words of Russian and was trying to help her find the baggage claim. While we were waiting for the luggage to arrive, it was clear that she was confused and panicked and needed help with something. We wanted to help her, but with the language barrier, we had no idea what she needed. We quickly called my brother, who speaks Russian, to see if he could figure out what she was needing. It turns out she is here for Summerfest (a cultural exchange program in our town). She was supposed to be picked up from the airport and taken to a family that would host her for her stay. She had no contact information for Summerfest nor for the family.
It was well after midnight and we couldn’t find anyone there greet her or take her where she needed to be. We didn’t have the heart to leave her alone in a strange city without knowing the language. We all decided to stay until she figured out what was going on and where she was going. Our friend talked to one of the airline reps and told her the situation. They looked up the phone number for Summerfest . Our friend was able to reach someone who knew where this lady was supposed to be. As it turns out, she needed to be somewhere that was three blocks away from where we were already headed. We told the lady at Summerfest that we would drop this woman off where she needed to go.
To make a long story (and a long night!) short. We dropped the woman off around 1:00am and found out she is an artist. She asked us, through a translator, if we would visit her during Summerfest – which we will. It looks like she is an incredible artisan. This a picture of some of her work. She was so gracious and kind. We’re looking forward to seeing her again and hopefully learning more about her and her culture.
What are the chances?
We run into a lady who needs help.
My brother is able to help translate.
She is attending a program we are familiar with, held in our town.
The location she needs to go is on our way.
What a night!!! I still marvel at the way people, who don’t speak the same language, are able to communicate… heart-to-heart.