I have a young friend who took a Peace Corp assignment in Albania.
If you don’t know where Albania is, join the club. I looked it up. It’s near Montenegro, Kosovo and Greece.
She’s there to teach English. She has to do it without yet being fluent in Albanian.
She’s blogging about her experience. In her blog today, she recounts how overwhelmed she has been by the ” kindness of strangers” she has encountered.
Her lack of language and her unfamiliarity with the local customs have rendered her in need of constant help. And, the help just keeps on coming.
People she hasn’t been introduced to bring her food, recover lost items, take time from their routine to make sure the internet cable is installed correctly.
They have noticed her. They know she needs help. In the interest of being neighborly, they provide it.
It made me wonder about us.
How do we treat our newcomers? While it isn’t as difficult as moving to a foreign land, it’s still “foreign.”
My young friend is developing a quick and warm affection because of the “kindness of strangers “. Her connection is growing stronger. She is settling into her job. She is extending the same warmth she receives.
What if we treated all new colleagues like they were from a foreign country? Noticed them? Offered help without asking? Went out of our way to make sure they were settling in?
I’m thinking it would set us apart.