When I was 18 I worked in Sri Lanka for a year. Towards the end of my year, I was on a bus in the deep south and I didn’t feel very well. Then it all went black.
What I remember next is drifting in and out of consciousness in a hut with a group of worried Sri Lankan faces around me. I was too ill to consider what had happened or who they were and so I just trusted that I was going to be ok.
The first time I can remember being myself was days later when I realised I was in the home of a local family, who told me I had quite literally fallen off the bus as it was going through their village. I had dengue fever and was delirious so I didn’t know where I was and couldn’t tell them who they could contact to help me.
This lovely family looked after me with medicine, food and care for days. They did not ask for a penny for the help they had given and refused to accept anything I offered. They just made me promise to go straight back to people I knew in the capital, Colombo. They carefully put me back on the bus and waved me off at the bus stand. Just pure human kindness from one person to another and I have never forgotten it.