Several were people we’d previously known only from our online encounters and we even had folks drive all the way from Florida to Indiana to meet with us when we were there. And we met the friends of our friends – a beautiful ripple effect! These stops gave the feeling of being ‘inside’, rather than being a tourist — and of course local people know things to see that you might never find otherwise.
We thank you all for the amazing hospitality!
And we saw examples of community spirit in many places we travelled through. The Amish community in Lancaster county stands out in this regard, and I’ll write more about it later. But there was also a home overlooking the Annapolis Valley in NS and the owners open their grounds to anyone, in order to share the view. And there was the store that left stock outdoors on display even though they were closed (more trusting than I would be). There were honour system campsites, with the honour system also used to purchase firewood. The Boston harbour cruise was because our friend Bob had devoted a huge amount of time and energy towards a fundraising event to support an AIDS clinic. Listening to him describe the people involved made us very aware of the caring and generosity in his community. And a main purpose of our trip, to collect a donated sculpture (which I’ll write more about as well), involves many people and an extraordinary amount of dedication.
In a previous post I mentioned the woman who stayed late so we could see the Little House on the Prairie. It was similar at the winery in California, where, although the facility was closed, we were invited to come in anyway and watch the grapes being pressed. And I was astonished at Los Alamos, where an entire room was devoted to those with different points of view: “The exhibit on this wall has been designed by a group of citizens who disagree with aspects of the Laboratory’s past and current research. The Bradbury Science Museum has made this space available to the group to encourage responsible debate about the role and future of the Laboratory.” More about that in a future post (I may never stop writing about this trip!)