When we were in Quito I took my daughter out for a fancy breakfast at the JW Marriott Hotel. We were enjoying the beautiful surroundings so much that I forgot my usual paranoia and laid my camera down while I freshened up my lip gloss. Normally I would put my camera in my purse, even if I was going to take it right back out and continue taking pictures. But just then, we were distracted and I forgot to put it back in my purse!
About 15 minutes later I wanted to take more pictures but could not find my camera anywhere. After frantically checking my purse and pockets over and over again, I went to ask at the front desk. I felt that I was hoping beyond hope that someone would actually return it, rather than just keep it.
No one had returned it. I was feeling very sad and was about to leave when I noticed that the place was buzzing with cleaning staff. Again I felt like I was shooting in the dark when I asked if anyone on staff had recently found my camera. They were so eager to help me, I was surprised! They went running around asking in all the different departments. And a few minutes later, there it was in the hand of a smiling and friendly staff member. I was so emotional that my eyes were full of tears as I thanked him.
My little black Canon PowerShot 12.1MP was a gift from Bryan. He gave it to me just before we moved to Ecuador, it was our 10th anniversary. I love it: it fits in my pocket, it takes awesome pictures and great video! I’ve documented our lives over the past two and a half years with it (including the pictures in this post). It was the perfect gift for travel and living abroad, it means so much to me. Many of the pics on this blog have been taken with it and thankfully now, so will many more.
I wish I could remember the name of the man that gave me back my camera. I will always remember his honesty and the helpfulness of the others on staff that day. There are so many stories of purse snatching and theft out there, that people tend to fear traveling in foreign countries. While I know there is a need to be paranoid about our valuable belongings, I hope this story will help people feel a little more optimistic about travel and the basic nature of most people.
I know the objection could be made that it was returned because it was a fancy hotel and his job could have been at risk. But I like to think better of people. He told me that he was going to put it in their lost and found, but he had only just found it.
He could have put it in his pocket (I know … it fits perfectly) and not told anyone. But he didn’t … he gave it back to me! I was so shaken from thinking that my camera was stolen that I was still stressed a couple of hours after I got it back. Now I feel really happy and impressed. I also feel some shame, “shame on me” for not being more optimistic, and thinking better of the people around me. Outwardly I guess I was optimistic because I asked about it, but inwardly I was pretty much convinced that I would never see it again. I’m normally optimistic about peoples values, and I don’t want that to change.
By the way, this is my camera. Check it out on Amazon – if you are planning on traveling, this is a great camera.
If you have a happy travel story like mine, please share it by commenting on this post.