August 13, 2015
(If we live with an open and grateful attitude, every day will bring a gift. This is one of 365 gifts during the year I turned 70.)
Last month, I could not have told you what five countries share borders with Belarus. The only thing I knew about this country was that it used to be part of the USSR. Now I can say that these countries touch Belarus: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The motivation for this research was that we would be hosting two women from Belarus soon. Today we met them and they are now downstairs trying to recover from jet lag. Times like these make me wish we had a larger house with nicer guest accommodations and a second bathroom but, as travelers who have stayed in other people’s homes both fancy and very basic, we remember the warmth of our hosts over the years and not what bed we slept in.
David and I are used to hosting people from around the world. I joined Servas in 1979 and Couch Surfing later. More recently, the World Trade Center Institute has contacted us to host visitors in its program. The last visit was from a Pakistani teacher for a weekend. This time, it’s two women—Katsiaryna and Rehina—who are involved with financial literacy education in their country and who will stay with us for 2 ½ weeks.
We just met them tonight but are looking forward to getting to know them and learning about Belarus during their visit. Looking very tired, they had something they wanted to do before they settled in for the night and that was to present us with special presents they brought with them from their country: framed 3-D art depicting a section of Minsk (capital of Belarus), a traditional table cloth, a cloth bag and an alcoholic beverage with shot glasses (presented to David).
My gift today is from Belarus.
You can find links to my other posts on this project here: