Meeting Beautiful Souls And Hearing Inspiring Stories by Wendy Buss Feb 2016
There are some truly amazing people in the world who it is an honour to meet and get to spend even a short time with like the couple I met at dinner last week up at Invecauld House in Lismore .They were a pair of very special souls .
They presented as your regular unremarkable suburban pensioner couple hailing from Mt Prichard out near Liverpool in Sydney’s outer west Both of them were in their 70s short rotound cheery souls who had lived in the same home for 40 years and planned their life adventures around for at least half the year to being close to the grandchildren The man was a retired building construction worker and the lady still worked as a medical receptionist two days a week .
But there was something different about these two as we talked and discovered a shared passion for getting out into the outdoors and having adventures in nature …..I could tell they were a true team .As they talked about their farmstay holidays with the grandkids milking cows horse riding and trail bike riding ..There was a shared twinkle in both their eyes as they recounted their grandson as a little boy ….asking them how one could tell if a bull was male or female . They laughed easily together loud and often.They sparked off one another and supported one another and were kind to each other and it was easy to see that they were a true team who brought out the best in each other and who had really lucked out in the marriage lottery…They made for a very tight unit ……. And I found myself marvelling at their good fortune for having found one another ,
There was something even more special about these two dear souls though As we got deeper into conversation about travelling deeper really interesting treasure was revealed that their grandest travel passion was in fact the trips they did to Kenya each year ….They had been going to Kenya for some years always back to the same town where they enjoyed a very sociable holiday having befriended a local family who lived in the village and where they undertook to do self funded philanthropic works .
The first time they had arrived in the rural village they had been treated like royalty they told me with everyone coming to join in a communal welcoming gathering.The villagers had taken them to their hearts and so welcome were they made to feel they feel they keep going back now every year taking on various charity initiatives to improve the lives of the people living in the village
They told me they stayed in a “minus 1 star motel ‘which cost them about 20 a night and lived and fraternized with the villagers which provided substantial income for the family providing the accommodation and was a truly sociable and happy part of the adventure .
All their charitable initiatives were self funded and they explained that western currency goes a long way in Africa and they were able to do some amazing work with the money which the lady saved from her two day a week receptionist job from year to year back in Australia
On one of their trips they built a well and helped install equipment to provide for fresh drinking water supplies for the villagers ,On another trip they installed solar panels so that the families could have light in their homes and bought school books for the village children . They proudly boasted how the village childrens school mark averages had gone up expedentially now that the kids could sit up to study at night .They invested in school books for the children. They paid for a lady in the village to have treatment to have a tumourous cancer removed thus saving the ladies life
They spoke proudly of their achievements … .proud of the difference they were making in that little corner of the world as well they should be .I was awed by the s organic nature of their enterprises and the simplicity of their undertakings and really inspired that two people blessed with a vision to contribute and make a difference in the lives of others in the world had found their niche which brought them so much rich adventure and satisfaction and meaning and joy in life
The woman was a really gutsy woman too although probably not more than 5 foot tall and as she regaled me with her fearless anecdotes that almost sounded bordering on the foolhardy to a lesser mortal .I had to smile at her antics
Asking how they coped with the various petty officials that met them at numerous checkpoints as thy drove across the country who baled them up and tried to bribe them ,I asked her if she had feared for her life at any stage .The lady grinned broadly NO she said when the officials threatened to put them in the lock up for the night if they didn’t pay the bribes which were asked of them She said to them “Good that will be free accommodation for the night .”
When I asked her if the countless beggars ever bothered her or if she feared getting ripped off a the markets .She assured me she knew how to handle them .She would say something like “What do I look like I have an ATM machine up my ass and can shit $50.00 notes any time I like ?” She was in fact a very classy lady but clearly able to get down and dirty when she needed to and as the situation called for .
These were two very special souls from who I learned heaps and who I was blessed and privileged to meet on my travels up at Invecauld House in Lismore .