Today's gift was giving a ride from campus to home for two international students. Tonight when I left work it was beginning to get dark and two students were standing near our campus chapels with some papers and a phone. They looked lost. I recognized this look because I often look exactly the same way when we are traveling and just land in a new city. It is also right before our spring semester begins, so we welcome a lot of new students during this time.
I pulled my car over and jumped out to help with the thought that they just needed to find a building on campus. They said they were looking for Brookville which is the name of a small town around an hour west of where we were standing. Uh-oh.
After a few more questions and the male student pulling up a text on his phone, we figured out that they were looking for a street in our same town named Brookville. Ok - that is do-able.
Without knowing where the street was located, I was at a loss. I suggested we jump in my car and use my GPS to find the street. They agreed. I must have looked friendly and non-threatening.
The GPS did not recognize the street. We decided to use my phone to find the address and it worked! They agreed to let me drive them to their house and along the way, I got more of their story.
The students were mother and son - she a Ph.D. student and he was just getting started as a college freshman. She had two other children at her house. They had just arrived in Kansas City and a shuttle dropped them off on campus. I am still a little fuzzy on how they planned to get from campus to their house, but I think they planned to walk the three or four miles.
While I don't recommend offering rides to complete strangers, I do recommend helping wherever you can. Tonight, I hope, two new members of our community had things made just a little easier by a crazy lady who pulled over her car and jumped out to introduce herself.
P.S. After I dropped them off, I was so HAPPY! I called my husband to tell him my story and he was so kind...and modest. When I got home, he told me that he helped a former student find his father that he hasn't seen in years. He let me have my moment. I am so lucky. And, so proud that he's a man who cares about other people. And, apparently a closet detective.