I make friends where ever I go. I believe part of this comes from my upbringing in Northwest Oklahoma and another part is just how I was made. Early on in my relationship with my wife she found me in the tire section of our local big box store talking to an older gentleman. I introduced the two, shook the gentleman’s hand and said my goodbyes. On the way out of the store, I shared the man’s stories of his grandchildren, his health and other details of his life. Tabitha turned to me and asked, “Where do you know him from?”
I smiled and said, “The tire section… just met him”
I love people and the stories that make up their lives. I guess that is what helps me make friends where ever I go. I truly do care for the people I encounter. I believe that no matter how brief the encounter that we affect one another.
This is is also why I am driven to be a filmmaker. I have heard so many stories. How can I keep them to myself? So here I am in Iraqi-Kurdistan making friends and learning their stories. And my hope is to share them with you someday.
There was a man I met at the airport. Long ago he fled Saddam’s Iraq, making his way to Greece, much of it on foot. He fled in such haste that he had left his passport and other documents behind. It was of no concern. Whatever he would face as an undocumented immigrant in other countries was better than what he had left behind. He found a home in the U.K. and after the fall of Saddam returned home.
Years later, standing outside an airport checkpoint he met me. Another stranger in a strange land. He shared his story and then I shared mine. He offered me a ride to my hotel and I accepted. We may never meet again but I will always call him a friend.
I am collecting stories like this every day. My hope for you, my friends is that you will take the time to get to know the strangers around you, listen to their life and share yours with them.
Tomorrow I go mountain biking in Iraq with new friends I met today. I will update you soon.
Here’s an update from the road.