In class, across the room sat a quiet, gentle looking lady with long. braided hair, donning a thin pastel cardigan. She wore a welcoming smile. Everyday, she sat by herself and did not contribute much to the class conversations. I thought she was reserved and seemed rather alone.
One morning, I managed to sit closely to her and shared some hellos. I was surprised by her warm response. I took advantage of the opportunity to ask her a few questions, about her school, what and where she taught. I discovered she had traveled to Europe with her partner while I had made this journey with my colleagues, for the course.
When we realised we had a lot in common, we found each other everyday, during that week. There was so much to share although she is years younger. We ended up in the same group to work on our end of session project. Working with her was a joy, she was organized, willingly shared her resources and knowledge of the subject area.
My colleagues and I invited the couple over for dinner at a restaurant, where we all talked for hours.
During the year we stayed in touch and shared photos of our travels.
Back to Europe, for the end of the course, a year later, my friend and her partner had also arrived. They told us they would be returning for other courses. This time, they chose to invite us to their rented home. It was beautiful, a quaint chalet with its own garden and barbecue area. We overindulged with the nice meal prepared by them, a barbecue, drinks topped with cool music in the background. We laughed and enjoyed their company, dancing and sharing more stories after the meal. As they live on the other side of the world they had a variety of stories and information about their travels.
That was three years ago.
This year, the couple are planning a summer wedding, many miles from where we live and the excitement is beyond belief. We are all planning to attend from different parts of the world to support our long distance friends.