I had just finished having lunch with one of my friends at her university cafeteria and stepped into line to wait for the bus. The girl standing in line in front of me turned to look at me. I briefly made eye contact and smiled at her before she turned back the other way and kept talking with her boyfriend. I returned my focus to my friend who was waiting with me until the bus came.
As I got on the bus, I contemplated where to sit. There were a few open seats still left open, and I chose one in the very back. After the bus started rolling down the street I realized I was sitting next to the girl who had been infront of me while we were standing in line.
She giggled with her boyfriend, and I produced another smile when she looked in my direction. I knew they were talking about me. Then she turned to me. I said hi…or did she say hi? I can’t remember who said it first, but we introduced ourselves. Once we exchanged names, she shared with me that she had never spoken with a foreigner before! Although she had a couple opportunities before, she had never been brave enough to use her English-speaking ablities until now.
From that moment on it felt so special to chat with her. In a way, history was being made. She was doing something she had never done before, and I was very aware I was handed an amazing opportunity to speak into her life in such a way that would impact her view of westerners from this moment on. What an opportunity! What a privilege! What a responsibility!