Tag Archives: interesting people

The World Is Full Of Interesting People

river-cruise-germany-dinnerOne Christmas we joined a tour group of eighty travelers for a five-day river cruise in Germany. We met so many interesting people. My husband Dave told me it was my job to pick our table companions at each meal in the ship’s dining room. I was often torn between sitting with some fascinating person we had already met, or venturing off to meet someone new.

 

german flagOne day we sat with a homemaker and her husband who was a highway inspector from Perth Australia. For the last twenty years they have spent many of their weekends prospecting. They head out to likely spots in the desert with two other couples, who ‘are just like family’, and use metal detectors to look for gold. One of the men is the chef, preparing all their meals. They sleep in ‘swags’ – waterproof bedrolls under the stars and spend their days prospecting. They share their ‘finds’ equally. Last year they unearthed a total of ninety ounces of gold. They use their treasure hunt spoils for travel.

We lunched one day with a woman on crutches. She fell off her horse on a canyon ride just prior to our trip. She has a sporting goods business in California, selling items trail riders might need. She loves to travel and often conducts her business from on the road. She has been to one hundred and two different countries.

our-german-cruise-shipOne meal companion was a man who belongs to a fraternity of photographers dedicated to taking pictures of abandoned buildings across the United States and publishing them.  Another was a retired police officer recently returned from Antarctica, thus checking off the last unexplored continent on his travel list.

new-years-dinner-during-german-cruiseA Pittsburgh waitress, was in Germany with her husband and children to explore the land of her birth. She had never returned since immigrating to the United States as a child.

Margaret Laurence, the Canadian novelist once said, “There are no ordinary people.” Every time I travel and strike up new acquaintances, I discover just how right Ms. Laurence was.

Other posts……

 German POWS in Manitoba

A Broken Engagement and Capturing Holy Light

Travel Alphabet

Ten Nativity Scenes

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No Ordinary People

“There are no ordinary people,” said C.S. Lewis.  Last week I certainly had evidence of that!

“They told me they only promoted married men. That’s when I knew I needed a change.”  While doing some volunteer work I met a woman who’d emigrated from Ireland to Canada forty years ago. The bank she worked for in Ireland told her though her work was stellar she couldn’t be promoted. Men needed to be assigned the better paying jobs to support their families. The woman went right down to the Canadian embassy and investigated the possibility of moving to Canada. She and her husband were rated excellent candidates for immigration and asked where they wanted to live. They knew little about Canada and so the official interviewing them suggested the middle of the country, a place called Manitoba.  “We’ve never been sorry,” said the woman who went on to tell me stories about her family and her successful Canadian banking career as well as her plans to travel back to Ireland this summer.

“I do many different kinds of art.”  In church on Sunday I met a man who created a statue I walk by almost everyday. Outside the Air Canada building in Winnipeg’s downtown is a huge sculpture called The Pigeon King. The man I met in church created it. I learned he was from my mom’s hometown of Drake, Saskatchewan and has worked as an animator, sculptor, costume designer, filmmaker, composer and teacher.

“It’s called Through the Window of a Train.”  I went out for coffee with a British woman from my children’s writers’ group and she told me about a project she had worked on for many years. She loves train travel and after moving to Canada she collected stories from people who had worked and traveled on Canadian Pacific Railway trains. She edited an anthology of their stories and went to great lengths to get the book published.

 “ I travel to China all the time. It’s where we have many of our factories.”  My husband and I attended a dinner for residents of Winnipeg’s Exchange District.  One couple at our table was a man from Argentina married to a woman who was the head of her family’s clothing manufacturing company. Much of their stock was manufactured in various cities in main land China. All of the cities were places we had visited so we had an excellent discussion about the pros and cons of manufacturing Canadian products in Asia. The woman had also lived and traveled extensively in Israel and since I had been there too we compared notes on those experiences as well.

 “I’ve written quite a number of books.”  I was assigned as a mentor for a white-haired gentleman who was just beginning to work as a volunteer tour guide at the art gallery. I discovered he had a doctorate from a prestigious American university, was a specialist in children’s literature, a retired professor and had written not only textbooks, but several novels for young people as well. We had a great discussion about the subject of his current book and it gave me an idea for a blog on children’s literature I contribute to on a regular basis.

I met some other interesting people last week–the writer of numerous books of published poetry, a forty year old medical researcher whose decided to go back to university to become a writer, a young man working on his masters degree in physics and economics who loves Russian art, and a dental hygienist whose expecting her first child and just spent four months living in France.

The world is indeed full of interesting people and I’m looking forward to the ones I’ll meet this coming week. 

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