In April/ May I travelled through Cambodia and Vietnam with Intrepid under the leadership of Grant Finster. Although initially Grant seemed quite reserved and quiet for a leader, it did not take long for his qualities to shine through – his quiet fund of knowledge, mutual affection and respect of the local people and skill at making everyone in the group feel included. Grant did his utmost to ensure that all of us got maximal enjoyment from the trip, despite personal interests and differences.
My own “special story” is set in Hoi An where I spent a couple of days quite ill with Campylobacter gastroenteritis. On venturing out at the end of the second day to have dinner with the group, I became quite nauseated and returned to the hotel. Before I left, my “roomie” and great trip mate Angie asked me, with some concern, whether I could manage to eat anything. I responded that the only thing I could imagine eating was toast and honey, just like my mother made when I was sick in the stomach (many years ago).
I was lying on my bed in my cow-print pajamas, feeling sorry for myself when there was a knock on the door. Knowing that the whole group were about one kilometre away feasting on a Vietnamese seafood banquet and enjoying a few cold Tigers, I responded in quite an unfriendly manner. I was surprised to be told it was Grant and please open up. There he was, with a paper bag with slices of hot toast and honey! He had checked with Angie if I was alright and asked her if there was anything I might be able to eat and then zoomed off on the back of a motor scooter into the night.
It was one of those kind acts when feeling down, that is never forgotten – though I could have done without the teasing about the cow pajamas “just like his mother would wear”!