Just took a fantastic vacation to the Dominican Republic with the family.
The weather, food, and accommodations were all top notch.
We meet a tiny female vendor on the beach who speaks no English, other than uttering the word… massage.
She was middle-aged, with a weather-worn face and a pleasant smile. She might have been five feet tall. Her name was Kenia. She carried no table but would rub you on a towel on the sand or on a pool chair.
Now I have to tell you that I get a regular massage a couple times per month. The cost is $30 per half hour plus tip locally here in South Jersey.
Kenia’s price was $14 per half hour plus tip… and tip was optional. She also split the fee with the owner of the service she worked for. Toiling in the hot sun giving rubs to strangers for $7 every 30 minutes.
But Kenia seemed so happy. Especially when we brought her up to our patio in the shade of our condo and got her a massage table so she wouldn’t have to bend down so far. The price was so affordable that the whole family took her up on her services and had her return just about every other day. It was a good gig for Kenia. Especially when we gave her a $12 per hour tip.
Now twelve bucks doesn’t sound like a lot here in the states. Might get you a vodka and soda at the country club, or bacon, eggs, and coffee at the diner.
But Kenia was overwhelmed by our generosity. Tears welled up in her tiny brown eyes when we gave her the extra pesos. She tried to refuse, but we insisted. And she reluctantly tucked the money inside of her belt.
The last day of our trip, Kenia paid us a surprise visit. She had purchased gifts for the entire family as a way of thanking us for our generosity. The trinkets ranged from a hand-woven bracelet to a necklace made with local stones.
I’m not sure how much the gifts were worth. But it didn’t matter. A diminutive woman who could very well live in a grass shack took me aback. But the enormity of her heart and generosity dwarfed all of us.
You see tiny little Kenia knows the secret.