Friday, February 26, 2010

The Kindness Of Strangers

When we arrived at Hokitika the other day, a small package was waiting for us. The contents are pictured above. Two small New Zealand badges and a message from Denise of Alexandra “ To Vic and Gay. A couple of NZ badges for you both to wear on your walk. So you know that your NZ friends are walking with you. Denise”.

How kind is that? Denise owns and runs the Alexandra Court Motel in the town of that name. It is ludicrous to call her a stranger now, but she was just that only a few years ago. Over the years we have stayed at the motel she has become a good friend. She is immensely kind, always plying us with goodies from her extensive vegetable garden. When we left her a few weeks ago she sent us off with a huge box of plums which kept us and our next hosts going for some time.

We are always knocked out here by the kindness of people we have known for only a few years, and we marvel at how many of them have become such good friends. Lyn and Selwyn Cardno in the Catlins not only packed us off with a box of muffins, they had already taken us out for two full days and fed us more than once; next year we are going to Stewart Island with them for a week. Denise and Robin of Oxford have become much more friends than service suppliers. Tracy and Shayne in Oamaru were away when we arrived so they left us a voucher for a free meal at Filadelfio’s. Adele and Brian here in Hokitika welcome us with open arms. Jan and Ian, their children Sophie and Felix, and Jan’s parents Robyn and John, are far more to us than the family of ayoung woman who once trained at the same running club in UK (and who gave us an extensive briefing before our first trip to NZ, 15 years ago).

There are others. Most of our friends in New Zealand have supported Vic’s Big Walk by donating to Pancreatic Cancer research through my blog.

And none of them are strangers now.

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