There are all kinds of people in this world, I meet many and yet they just pass me by. I don‘t know them and will never know them. We both say hello to each other, even exchange a smile or at most a few words but that is about it, and then we go on our way. All the people I meet have a story to tell I am sure. I cannot even tell why a certain person has a deeper attraction than others. Time passes us by quickly and it takes an effort to sit down and meet each other. Some kind of spark has to ignite this relationship. Some people we meet have an effect on us that will last for years, some we will never forget and some memories of people will melt away like snow on a hot day. Yet at the time we meet them we just have to meet them. I am not saying that a meeting with new people is pre-determined but I often wonder why I meet people, what do they have to tell me, why am I here at this moment, is there a message I have to listen to? Why do I meet them?
So this time I met Francis P. Chauvel, the proprietor of the Hostel, Albergue Miraflores House in Miraflores, Peru (www.alberguemirafloreshouse.com) . Busy like a one armed paperhanger he runs a good hostel. He tries to run it like a hotel, it is better than a hostel. He has wakeup calls, changes sheets not just at the end of the stay but every other day, serves Pisco Sours in the afternoon, etc. Yes, he has a staff that helps yet he takes responsibility for everything. He takes his position as a hostel owner seriously, he cares about his clients. Francis heard of the dilemma Carol and I were in. Machu Picchu is not accessible until maybe April, so the newspapers here speculate. We saw pictures of the torrents that wrecked Aguas Calientes and it was obvious from the pictures that a visit at this moment is out of the question. Maybe it is the mentality of Peruvians, who take one day at the time, but Francis was not rattled by the facts. Things will work out for us. We all sat down Wednesday afternoon and talked and Francis found alternative ways to visit Peru. Through his long established network of friends, Francis found the solutions. He made more than a dozen telephone calls for us. Yes we had interruptions by his staff and his workforce, an electrician and a welder, who were installing an air conditioner a painter who painted some rooms, etc. Francis remained calm and cheerful and organized it all. After some 6 hours working for us we had all the bus tickets, we had reservations for all the hostels, for all the tours, we are now totally set. What did Francis charge? Nothing! He worked his network. He did favors for his friends who needed clients like us. He served his own pride by helping his clients and making sure that we were well taken care of. Could we have done it without Francis? NO! His demeanor is perfect for his position in life. We were lucky to have met him. Or was it more than luck? Do we really meet people we have to meet when we are in need? Some people believe there is a guiding thread in our lives. Sometimes I begin to wonder. No matter the underlying reason: Thank you, Francis!
PS. Not only did Francis make all the arrangements for us free of charge, he follows up, too. We are now in Paracas and Francis called his contact and spoke to Carol as well. He called just to make sure we are ok and all worked out for us. What a Guy.