Sunday, May 4, 2014


After I visited the Vatican, I was exhausted and decided to take the train back to the hotel. I got on a train and then they announced that it wasn't moving from the station so everyone headed for the bus. I saw an African man and asked him if he knew which bus went to the station. He said he was also headed that way and would show me. He told me his name was Abdoulaye from the Gambia. 

We waited for the bus with an enormous crowd. I wanted to cram into one of the next three buses that came but Abdoulaye said we should wait for an empty one. He warned me to watch out because there were many thieves. Finally a bus came and we pushed our way to the front of the line and got seats. A German (?) family came and sat in the two seats across from us. The father struggled to fit both of his sons in the chair with him. Abdoulaye offered to let the boy sit in his lap so there was a little blond six-year-old balancing on his knee. 

During the rest of the way to the station, Abdoulaye told me of his journey from the Gambia, to Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Morocco, and then finally Canary Islands (Spain), and one year in Barcelona. For the past eight years he has sold handbags on the side of the road in Italy with many of his compatriots. He explained to me the three types of police, only one of which is feared by the vendors. When we arrived at the station the family was exceedingly appreciative to Abdoulaye and asked if they could take a picture of him with their son. I offered to take a picture of the entire family with Abdoulaye. I wish I had a copy of it. The family was so touched by a simple act of kindness, the likes of which are repeated many times a day in the Gambia. 

Abdoulaye is a hero; he sacrifices everything for his family and suffers in order to send money back home every month. He traveled a perilous journey they many people don't survive. He runs from police and hides yet never stops helping others and working to make everyone around him more comfortable. The world needs more people like Abdoulaye and people like him need to be more appreciated and rewarded in this harsh world.

The next day when I was leaving the hotel an American couple returned from the station and had just been robbed moments before on the train. Someone stole the man's wallet from his pocket. I offered to let them use my phone (I have a free U.S. phone number through Skype) and I thought of Abdoulaye, who had warned me against cramming into a bus. Abdoulaye's generosity and thoughtfulness was a gift in many ways. 


  1. I love your blogs. You do such a wonderful job of sharing the positive from a corner of the world that is so misunderstood but that I love so much. Thank you!

  2. السلام عليكم ورحمة الله , اما بعد عزيزي العميل تقدم لكم شركة شام للخدمات المنزليه افضل عروض رش المبيدات الحشريه وذلك من خلال برنامجها المتميز الجاد المتبع لتخليص المنطقه نهائيا من مشكلة الحشرات المنتشره بشكل وبائي حيث انه من خلال القسم الخاص برش المبيدات الحشريه في شركة شام والذي هو باسم

    شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

    قد حرصنا علي ايجاد كل الحلول لهذه المشكله الكبيره مشكلة الحشرات وذلك يتمثل في استخدام الشركه لافضل المبيدات عالية الجوده وايضا استخدامها لاحدث التقنيات المستخدمه في امريكا والاتحاد الاوروبي , لذلك عزيزي العميل انت معنا بامان تام فلا تقلق .

  3. عزيزي العميل هل تبحث عن خدمه مميزه تحقق لك كل ما تتمناه
    شركة صيانة مسابح بالدمام
    شركة تنظيف مسابح بالدمام
    تقدم لجميع اهالي المنطقه الشرقيه افضل خدمات المسابح التي يحتجون اليها سواء تنظيف او صيانه كامله فلا تقلق ولا تحتار فشركة شام هي افض اختيار .