This post is a part of the ReadOnTheRun-Uber Talks series in which we feature strangers that inspire us along our journey. Let's make an effort to be conscious of the people we meet throughout our journeys, spreading the spirit of curiosity, promoting empathy to the journey of others and sharing a bit of ourselves with those around us. Meet Yustin!
Yustin, pronounced "Justin" has been a driver for The Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua (@aquawellnessresort) for a few years. During our two hour drive South from the Augusto Cesar Sandino International Airport in Managua to the front door of the resort just outside of his hometown Tola, Yustin showed us active live volcanos, beautiful rock formations due to those volcanos and sentimental old historic towns in between.
His face lit up with each question we asked about his love for his country, its current political unrest, the people who make it great and the beautiful landscape. When asked about his favorite food he quickly answered "fruit, sandía". He continued, "It's green on the outside and red on the inside. Sweet, plenty seeds." Though we had never heard of it, we smiled along with him, nodding our heads in agreement excited to hopefully soon taste the exotic Nicaragua treat for the first time once we reached the resort.
We continued to share stories quickly learning that Yustin has a young daughter and a wife who also lives with him in Tola and, by observation, that his driving skills were impeccable. His sharp reflexes kept us safe when large animals darted out in to the middle of the rode or when Police check points popped up just outside of school zones expecting to catch those passing by going well above the speed limit.
Sometime later about a little over an hour in to the trip Yustin pulls over to the side of the rode in front of a fruit stand, "sandía temporada, that is sandía". I turn my head to the right a little more in order to be sure that I was seeing straight. After a few seconds, instinctively I excitedly practically yelled "Watermelon season!". The car roars in to laughter. "That's my favorite too!" I continued.
Needless to say all of us learned a new word in a foreign language that day. Yustin, watermelon - us "sandía". But then we all realized that no matter where we are born, we all are more alike than different: Our faces light up all the same when we imagine our love for our home, the people who make it great, the beautiful landscape and the delicious food.
We all share a love and passion for life.
Yustin, we wish you and your family health, happiness and prosperity on your journey. We thank you for traveling through life with joy, curiosity, humility and the heart of a teacher. Five star ride!
Thank you for reading this feature. Who has inspired you today?