Emma’s sunburn highlighted a true principle for us:
We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.
(note: out of sensitivity for a teenaged girl, we will not post pictures of how bad it really looked)
A few days after her burn, we went swimming with the Dada school kids and Emma came along. Her eye was swollen and she was blistered, so she was still in pretty bad shape. A Taiwanese woman came to me in the dressing room trying to communicate and gesturing toward Emma. She had no English, I had no Chinese, so a teenaged girl tried to help out. The woman wanted to go home and get us some aloe leaves to put on the burn. We had been given aloe leaves the day before at lunch by the owner of a restaurant in Kenting, so we already had some. But she was insistent and ran home on her scooter to get them and help a girl in need.
Sunny, the wonderful assistant at Dada school, bought us cucumber gel for Emma's burn and has given us other remedies for various issues and has been so kind and gracious. Her sincerity is moving and while they are small simple offerings, they are filled with love and kindness.
Last week, on our way home from Kenting, we were rushing to catch the train when I stopped to get some bread and then changed my mind because it seemed a little expensive. Moments later, we were on the train, getting ready to sit down when an older woman came onto our car and offered two mini loaves of bread, saying something about her daughter. That's all we could make out--no English/no Chinese barrier again. We had no idea what had happened; she was not an employee of the store and we couldn’t figure out why it had happened, but it felt magical.
Our hosts, John and Ching have lived this principle of small things done with love repeatedly. I can already see John taking special care of us now that Tom is gone. They are amazingly generous with their time and resources and exemplify goodness. (picture below is John and Sky, their daughter on a hike we all took in Yilan)
Since he came to Dada two days before us and speaks some Chinese, Eugene, pictured below, has been an awesome asset. From teaching Sam chess and patiently listening and then explaining any number of topics...to helping us get the right breakfast sandwich for Emma when she was miserable from her sunburn...he's been wonderful!
Finally, there have been numerous strangers who have translated to help us out of a jam or stopped us in the street to say that one of the kids is beautiful.
I remember reading Rachel Remen’s Kitchen Table Wisdom and thinking that I could never impact people the way she did, so continually and powerfully. But our experience here has been a reminder that it is not quantity of good deeds or people influenced that matters, but individual moments that we live higher and better than we have before.