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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 24 Aug 2000 16:13:12 -0400
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In a message dated 08/24/00 3:24:03 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:

Indeed, Joan. And it is said that difficult times bring out the best in
people. I overheard that a one or more of our hosts actually offered the
clothes off their back-- literally (well, actually out of their closets)--
to folks whose luggage had been waylaid. Nice bunch, these GNSIers....

frank >>

This was literally true, Frank!  Rita offered me shirt, and, by the way, I
tried to con Emil out of a vest to no avail (joke already). The name Rita now
brings to my mind a human being very close to Wonder Woman. She was
efficient, kind, empathetic, thorough, funny, delightful, an excellent
conversationalist and problem solver, and not once did I see her blow her
cool. If anything could rattle a human being it had to be that last everybody
pitch in and shuffle the luggage on the bus deal and her voice hardly showed
strain. Thoroughly fine person!   As I wrote, some of the worst experiences
offered me some of my best memories; I doubt I would have got to know Rita as
I did had not I almost literally fallen into her protective arms at the
culmination of the tortuous trip to Evora, etc.
    Here's another. The Castelo Sao Jorge sits atop a very steep hill. Now
the distance from the bottom of the hill to the top is not that great, but
the heat and steep climb, and city commotion combine to make it a most
treacherous trip. Nevertheless, Ramona and I were thinking about walking it.
A very fine looking lady must have overheard us and she asked about where we
were going. No, no, no, it would not do to walk! She didn't know a word of
English and my Portuguese is still survival-only quality but she stuck with
us, insisting that we take the tram. She even latched onto me, walked with us
to the appropriate bus stop, waited with us until the correct bus came, and,
by golly, didn't let go until we were on the bus. She undoubtedly saved me
from heat exhaustion as we went to the castle early in the afternoon, when
the heat was greatest. The ride up was something to write about, too. A long,
slow tour of the castle and a couple of bottles of water later and we
realized how very kind this woman is.   OK, back to work now. Want to read
others' reports.     Joan