Kindness after Kindness in Vallarta

My house is so quiet; my sister is sound asleep in her bed thousands of miles away from Bogie and me. It’ll take a couple of days to normalize and get back into the swing of doing things on my own.

I jumped onto a very crowded bus after leaving Patrice at the airport and witnessed kindness after kindness in front of me. It was standing room only for quite a few stops, and then I finally got a seat just behind the rear door and noticed a guy in a wheelchair. He called out, “rampa!” That voice message was relayed to the front of the bus and the driver. At the next stop, he came to the back of the bus, pulled a latch on the floor, and out popped a ramp. The driver reached forward, gripped the wheelchair, and rolled his passenger gently to the sidewalk, replaced the ramp, returned to his seat, and we carried on for a few more stops where a young man in a wheelchair was waiting to board the bus. The shout for rampa went up again, but to save time, a young man who had to get out of the way for the last wheelchair pulled the ramp out of the floor, jumped off the bus, and wheeled a perfect stranger into the handicapped part of the bus adjacent to the door.

From where I was sitting, I saw the wheelchair was homemade, with an old kitchen bucket chair roped onto a set of wheels. There was no place for the young man’s feet to rest, and there wasn’t a brake, so the guy who helped him get on the bus stood there with his body wedged to keep the wheelchair from rolling around.

All of this without a word being exchanged at the beginning. After several stops, the wheelchair young man began asking questions, trying to make himself understood to his human brake, who was carving a small ball of red wax while standing in a crowded bus with a very sharp exacto knife and his sturdy foot, keeping the wheelchair steady. He leaned down to decipher the words; I heard ‘hostel’ and could discern little else.

As we rolled out of the tunnel, many seats were available, but the carver of wax stayed where he was, ensuring the young man in his wheelchair remained safe. I got off at Insurgentes, leaving them to their lives and me to mine, grateful again for the millionth time that I live in such a gracious and kind place.