I wake up with the Vera’s feeling grateful for an incredible time last night. Time for a quick shower before I move out to the kitchen for breakfast. The family are all preparing the food and it looks like I definitely won’t go hungry. Omelette, salad, cereal, nuts, steak, toast; anything anyone could ever need, even a cake!
I meet Denise, Claudia’s sister. She is stunning. Our paths have crossed before. Denise is a high end clothing designer who owns her own label; Denisse M Vera and she is making my best friend’s wedding dress for their upcoming ceremony in February 2017.
We make a start to breakfast and get chatting some more. I learn a lot about Denise. She has a passion for what she does and I can see why. The clothes and dresses that she designs are beautiful. She tells me the story of how she came about the art of the threading work that she does.
Backpacking in Chile and South America, she ran in to some flooding in a drought stricken town. This stranded her for a few days where she met some of the local community. She spent time with a man sat on the side of a dirt road and learnt the art that is now famous for and see’s her sought after around the world.
Denise is so very humble. She has a beautiful smile and is empathetic. She asks me a few questions about my journey and we agree that the world is a beautiful place. People are good. Danilo has arranged for some workers to come around and cut down some of the trees in their beautiful backyard. We stay in the living room and chat some more. Denise and her friend Jen have to get going to film for a documentary on Denise’s clothing label. She takes me aside for a minute and we agree to stay in touch. She then pulls out a hand made ring; one of the first she ever made in Chile. Embedded amongst the thread is a tiger stone. It represents strength and she gifts it to me for my travel and life. I’m humbled and grateful and I don’t know how to respond other than to put the ring on my finger and promise to keep it on for the rest of my trip.
Time for a walk with the rest of the crew. Sergio, Danilo, Iris, Claud and the star of the show; Victoria. ‘V’ reminds me of Boo from the Disney movie Monsters Inc. she’s full of life and doesn’t really slow down for much. The entire family adore her and I know exactly why. Kids have a way of making people happy and it reminds me of my own family who have the same love for all of my nephews and niece.
We walk towards the local park which straddles the Camden River. We chat as we stroll along and I catch myself getting emotional again. This family is amazing and I don’t want to leave; similar to the feeling I had with the parkers.
We find a coffee shop on the way back to the house and we chat some more. Once back at the house I start to pack my bag knowing that Paul from BonVoyage Transfers is on his way to meet me and take me on my way to the next stop; Goulburn. Paul made contact with me last week, offering me transfers while in and around Sydney. It has been a godsend having him drive me around and I’m not sure that I would be able to piece my emotions together after so many farewells if he wasn’t as generous as what he has been.
I have about half an hour left with the Vera’s so I chat some more. Iris tells me more about when she and her family arrived to Australia; how tough it was at first. She tells me that we have to be strong always. For our friends, our families and also ourselves. This lady is a hero.
Sergio and I chat again about happiness. I tell him that once I’m back from this journey that he needs to come to my place. I promise to cook terrible food for him and anyone else he would like to bring. He promises to teach me a few tricks in the kitchen when he comes over. I’m thrilled; I haven’t cooked anything other than a stir fry in about 4 years.
I sit down with Claud and Danilo and I know that time is running out. They tell me about how they met and the hardship that they went through to get married. They tell me that the troubles they faced to be married are all worth it. They love each other and they have a beautiful daughter. Danilo has a beautiful smile and he tells me that it always comes back to love. It doesn’t matter about what we own; our house, cars or possessions. Without love and family, none of the other stuff matters.
Paul arrives and Claudia gifts me a card and photo that I will keep forever. I love this family.
Our farewell is emotional to say the least. The Vera’s will always hold a special place in my heart. Iris is the last to hug me and she says ‘Estamos sobre el mundo’; we’re on top. What a woman.
Paul has taken time out of his day to drive me to Goulburn and I’m very grateful. I touch base with Sally on the way. Sal is the head of PE at Mulwaree High. She sent me a message last week to see if I would be interested in speaking at the schools in Goulburn. She volunteered to house and feed me the night prior and I gratefully accepted. Paul and I get to her place at about 6:30pm.
I’m introduced to Jack, Sal’s 4 year old son. He is anything but shy. He gives me a hug and welcomes me to their home quickly, before showing me to his room and toys. Sal takes me through to the kitchen and I meet her husband Andy who is stoking the fire place. On to another room and I meet Alice, Sal and Andy’s 6 year old daughter. She tells me that she will be 7 in November. Like Jack, she isn’t shy and shows me to her bedroom; its pink, very pink.
We sit down to some dinner; Spaghetti. I am eating a lot on this trip. It seems to be a common thing for people to want to feed me. I think it’s within all of us to want to help people and food seems to be a way to express that.
Alice and jack ask if I can read them a bedtime story. I’m thrilled that they asked and read them a book called ‘The Tickety Tale Teller’. I tell them that I will buy the book and read it to my nephews when we get home. We say goodnight and promise to play in the morning.
A scoop of ice cream and a catch up in the lounge room with Sal and Andy and I’m off to bed. Not before putting on a load of washing to get me through to Wednesday. Their home is like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Farm like on the outside but high tech on the inside. I feel lucky as I drift off to sleep. People are good. The worlds a beautiful place.
We’re on top.