Kindness and the ugly American...More museum photos...


An antique turnip cleaner.
"Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland"
"Only about 9% of people in Ireland have natural red hair, contrary to popular belief."
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Traveling can be frustrating at times.  Service may be slow, venues may be booked incorrectly, plans may be changed over which we have no control, food isn't hot or tasting as anticipated or there's the complaint consisting of "there's a fly in my soup." 
Blue ribbons on display for events with Connemara Ponies.
Notoriously, airline and cruise lines have a tendency, based on the millions of passengers they serve each year, to make endless mistakes both human and technologically impacting travelers, leaving them in a wake of confusion and frustration.

These same issues may be prevalent in our "hometown" even when not traveling.  Based on the fact we have no home, our perspective is slightly different.  Perhaps, in some ways, and in some situations, our expectations may be higher.
A wagon filled with peat, a common product used for fuel in Ireland.
Tourism is the lifeblood of many towns, villages, regions, states, and countries.  Without tourists, the bulk of an area's revenue and thousands (if not millions) of jobs would be lost.

The reality remains, not all employees and companies place enough importance and emphasis on the value of the customer and the vital role they play in keeping their business alive and flourishing.
A variety of antique items.
In the process of these types of inconveniences, we as the recipients of human or computer error, have a decision we can make as to how we respond to the situation.  

We can choose to enact volatile behavior and/or uncooperativeness to those we encounter in the process.  Or, we can choose to remain calm, although confident and assertive, tossing in a healthy dose of kindness.
A 100-year-old saddle.
The perception of the "ugly American" does exist throughout the world.  And even as Americans, in a prejudiced manner, we may hypothesize on what appears to be stereotypical behavior of people from certain countries.

I will admit on a few occasions, we've entertained such comments in a group of friends, stating that people from this country and that, generally react in a certain way.  And, no doubt, cultural differences can play a role in these behaviors, acceptable in their country but perhaps not so much in our own or others.
Parts of horse harness.
But, often times, our perceptions, right or wrong, may be totally changed when we encounter those who are kind, friendly and easy-going regardless of the circumstances that impact their travel.  They look on the bright side reacting accordingly.  

It's not always easy to be diplomatic and kind and by no means are we examples of perfection in these areas, but somehow, we try to remember the words "ugly American" and simply...make every effort to be kind and play a role, however small, in dispelling this perception.
A two-wheeled buggy used over 100 years ago.
It's easy in Ireland.  Everyone is outrageously friendly and kind.  We've yet to encounter a single individual who has treated us in any manner short, of being a long lost friend, who they revere and hold in the highest esteem.

For this, we are in awe and ultimately very grateful.  For this reason alone, we know we are in the right place, exactly where we should be at this time in our world travels.  We still have challenges to face with my health and ongoing recovery.  
One of the first types of marine radios.
But, this welcoming place has made living in Ireland for three months all the more meaningful and memorable.  

Be well.  Be happy.
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Photo from one year ago today, June 23, 2018:
An adult hippo needs to resurface every 3 to 5 minutes to breathe.  For more photos from Kruger National Park, please click here.

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