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Speaking without words


When communication is easy, like anything, we tend to take it for granted.  Often when I've set off on my travels, I've been asked how I communicate in counties where English is not spoken. Tricky are those encounters where we must rely on basic vocabulary, sign language or even pictures to convey our ideas. Awesome are those moments when you creatively overcome communication barriers and make a connection despite the obvious obstacles.
One of the most memorable experiences of my recent time in Sri Lanka was a train ride where my friends and I were the only ‘foreigners’. As we got on the car, all eyes turned to us inquisitively. “Who are these people?” their eyes said without saying a word.

Keen to soak up every new experience, we piled into the car anxious but not knowing what the ride would bring. Before long, the gorgeous scenery was overshadowed by ‘conversations’ with our new local friends. For hours we shared tea, candies, smiles and laughs without knowing the same language.
The locals took us warmly under their wing ensuring not only that we felt welcome, but that we got off at the right station. I was overwhelmed not only by their kindness, but by human’s ability to bridge a gap however difficult, with a view to sharing, learning and welcoming.  

Proof that actions speak louder than words ever can.

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