I have talked about many things in these posts. Most likely things you would otherwise have never known. Things like why people walk goats and how they get fresh veggies delivered to the front door on a daily basis. I have talked very little about what it is like to actually just be. What it's like to walk amongst the people and see things through their eyes. Hear the laughter of a child through their ears, and breathe the air through their lungs. For me, these are some of my favorite moments. When I go unnoticed and am able to see and feel exactly what those around me see and feel. The fact that people share such intimate moments with me is truly humbling.
When I first went to Bahrain, I knew no one. The first time I went to the masjid, the women assumed I was Arab. Mostly because I look very Arab, but as soon as I spoke it was very clear I was anything but what they had thought me to be. They welcomed me in a way that I had never expected. I wasn't just a guest in their homes I was family. I watched their children grow into pre-adults. I wept with them when they mourned the passing of their loved ones. I ate dinner with them and passed my days with them. I was no longer a stranger in a strange land. I was one of them.
This is something that I don't think people hear about very often. The majority of people overseas regardless of the country are just as welcoming. They will share with you all they have. Make you feel so welcome and accepted that you are sad to leave. You miss them when you're not with them and you wonder what they are up to even years after you last saw them. What is most astonishing to me is that the people who are often the most welcoming are those who have suffered the most. How they are able to show such compassion and care towards others when they have seen so little of it towards themselves is just something that I am in awe of. I often feel that I do not do justice in showing the greatness of the people I have been privileged to meet.
I hope someday I will be able to.