‘and remember always to welcome strangers for by doing this, some people have entertained angels.’ ( Hebrews 13:2a)
What is it to host a visitor? It means.. a willingness to give up some of your space.
Hosting with great desire and enthusiasm can have a tremendous impact on guests.
Our experience at our home in Mumbai, of caring for visitors from various countries, has given us great joy. Some of these have helped us in our Community way of way of life to be lived in the Christian context…in todays world..
Our love for hospitality has given Anjean and I the desire to try our dishes from various cuisines . Dishing out these …to our guests is an added bonus , when positive comments flow in.
Our home is special….but our hearts are large enough to accommodate as often and as many as we can. Of course when it comes to surrendering our bedroom, it is a small sacrifice compared to the joy of hosting.
We are ably helped by Sushila,, but it is most often all hands on deck.
Our children have seen us hosting, and now do the same in their new homes..
Some of the remarks we heard from our guests are very amusing
“ Now tell me if I have got the ingredients right for this dish…while passing I got the aroma and think this is it.”
“ I eat what is placed before me” …no fuss at all.
“Wow, I am tasting such hearty breakfast with eggs and bacon after a long time.” Being away from home.
“ Your pastas and swiss roll are exquisite”..
But the goan sausages and pullao always bring out the best comments.
This hosting experience has led us to try our hand at hosting in Goa , through Airbnb , which is an international hosting site. For the past 20 years our apartment in Miramar was our holiday home. So it was only during the summer holidays that as a family , we visited Goa and spent at least a month ( for me only 15 days due to work )
The journey from Mumbai to Goa by car was always an adventure. We would load the car with practically everything needed, from the guitar, keyboard, violin , and cricket bats, badminton rackets etc. and all other requirements needed for a long stay.
Loading the car was a ceremony , the previous night. We then left early next morning with only one driver(myself) and a navigator( Anjean) …to tell me what was ahead, or keep talking to prevent me from sleeping on the wheel. At the rear , our 4 children would be seated. Stops for breakfast , midmorning tea, lunch and evening tea, ended with our arrival in Goa.
On the way if the children had any arguments , my reprimand followed with“ I will stop and offload any one fighting “ which would stall heated discussions for a better seat or to avoid the sun beating on the person affected.
Entry into Goa was the most thrilling moment. In the early days, we sailed in the steam ships which took 24 hours to reach Goa from Bombay ( now Mumbai),….the next morning , we awoke to a view of the sunrise, white beaches and the beautiful entry into the Panjim bay of Betim…who can forget the green of the palm trees and pine trees on the fringe.
Times have changed and now it is either the flight or rail or road ( bus/car)
The latest is the ‘Tejas’ – a luxury super fast train fully airconditioned , which reaches Goa in 9 hours.
As I write this I see the best of this Konkan region fully forested and rivers and lakes and even water falls, as the monsoon is just ending. The Tejas is particularly good for tourists , as one can see the scenery out of the huge glass windows. The interior is like an aircraft and toilets with hands free appliances…most importantly very clean. The waiters have colourful resort type uniforms and meals provided with alacrity.
We have started hosting at Miramar since only few months , and have had a wide variety of guests. It feels so good to know that they appreciate home comforts without the formality of the hotel experience.
Earlier we never installed any of the latest amenities, as it served only as a holiday home for us. However to meet the expectations, we upgraded this home to include all the requirements.
The most interesting part, is that we still get to stay as a family ,at our apartment when we decide. So my grown up children , specially Karen who is the eldest with her own family, are overjoyed at this development. She was the one who encouraged us to start giving this apartment on the Airbnb .
Lino, our man , a brother to me, takes good care of our guests. He sets up the place and is there to welcome and assist in any way. Suzanne our neighbor also helps in any emergency, Aparna a simple man does a good job of cleaning and scrubbing the place .
Anjean and I are thankful to the Lord, that we can continue to serve in this way. All the more, as we are now retired, and our apartment helps to earn some income.
I did not mention,that my entire career at work was in the hospitality line…The last being at the YMCA International House. I still remember our motto was to provide every guest a “Home away from home” .
Our greatest asset was our workforce and their focus was ‘ always to care for every need of our guests, with a smile.’
You are weicome to check out our home at Miramar on