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When Lola Gives You Lemons: Warmth, Kindness, and Southern Hospitality

I have always heard of the classic “southern hospitality,” but never lived anywhere long enough to experience it. Even being from northern Virginia, though many people in college liked to tell me I was from the south, was nothing like the coastal town of Savannah, Georgia. A few days into living in our new service city my housemates and I went to introduce ourselves to our neighbor. We had been told by the Sisters that picked us up from the airport that she was particularly friendly and had been known to drop produce over the fence when her lemon tree yielded a few too many fruits. With cookies in hand, we went to meet Lola. A 4-foot Italian woman with bright red hair swung the door open and immediately rushed us into the house for an evening espresso. Before we could sip down our hot caffeine, we already had plans to come back and learn how to make real gnocchi and “salsa” the following night.  As we rolled our own pasta balls, Lola stirred her magical mystery red sauce and told us about her days traveling the world working for a construction company with her husband.

Lola was excited to share a piece of herself and we were more than excited to learn. This was the start of a trend my housemates and I have noticed during our year down south. No matter where you are, how much time you have, people are inclined to have a chat. Life does move a little slower and people smile a little more. It is a pleasant reminder to take a deep breath and share a little of yourself with all the people you meet. This sense of community is just one of the things I like most about being in Savannah. Like they always say, a stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.

Lily Kase: Savannah, Georgia

This Post Has One Comment

  1. And Savannah welcomes Lily and our other 2021-22 Mercy Corp Volunteers to their work in our ministry. Lily is working with our ED Medical Home project and sees patients in our emergency rooms and the others are working at our two free health clinics.
    Savannah is a great opportunity for this group and prospective future volunteers. Come join us in in Savannah and experience your own taste of Southerner Hospitality. (and it is not too bad that their home for the year is just a short drive from the beach at Tybee Island)

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