It’s night time. An Iraqi family comes to ask me the way to Serbia. A nearby Syrian man who speaks good English offers to translate, but then realizes he can’t as they speak Farsi.

So, I use pantomime to tell the family that:

– It’s cold (hugging self and shivering)
– It’s dark and you can’t see anything (covering eyes while walking)
– It’s very muddy and hard to walk (making sloshing noises while pretending to get feet stuck in deep mud, and tripping)
– Not good if you are with small children (frowning and indicating small children)
– Sleep here tonight (head on hands, sleep pantomime)
– Go to Serbia tomorrow (showing the sun rising and pointing toward Serbia)

And they got it, so they stayed at the camp.

The Syrian man looked at me and said “WOW. You worked really hard for that!” We laughed.

Then I thought about it – he’s right. I didn’t want them to go and get stuck in the mud and the cold with their kids.

Such a man. To stop and make me laugh and validate my efforts while he himself is going through this difficult journey. He sticks in my mind. I hope he becomes a millionaire.

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