It’s customary that when you go on a trip you bring something back to remember all the adventures you experienced.
Sometimes it’s a seashell from the beach, a shirt from a local shop or maybe just a bunch of photographs on your phone. And then there are folks who enjoy their vacation so much they want to bring someone back to remind them of their stay. That’s right — someone.
Michele Whitty joined her daughter, Anne, for a two-week adventure in India before Anne began her study-abroad program in early 2011. While abroad, the two had a driver/guide during their whole trip named Ram Baran. More than a simple guide, Ram acted more as a guardian to Michele and her daughter, helping them when they needed it and offering his advice when asked.
“Once we landed in Nepal, he met us at the airport and, really, just drove us everywhere. It was door-to-door service,” says Michele. “He took his job very seriously. On one occasion, we stopped and visited with a three-generation family for over an hour and a half, and even though we told Ram he was fine to take off for the evening, sure enough, he was ready and waiting for us outside after we finished.”
Because of Ram’s kindness, Michele and Anne’s initial worry of being in such a new/foreign place quickly dissipated.
“We were never really afraid or fearful of imminent danger,” recalls Michele.
Upon Michele’s return stateside, she had the idea of having Ram greet Anne when she got home. She went to a print store with a photo of Ram and said she wanted about a 5-foot cutout of him. When Anne finally got back, Ram was waiting in the driveway offering her “namaste.”
Since then, Ram has lived in every room in the Whitty’s home. He would inevitably get moved because guests would find a 5-foot-tall cutout of a man a little unsettling. Now he’s found a home in the garage.
“He was our driver and our guardian so it just seemed natural to have him near the cars,” says Michele.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”