American Bear, Day 23: Grangeville, Idaho

There is a lot to talk about with Grangeville.

We've never given out so many cards. We've never had so many people turn down interviews.

We had a lot of really amazing conversations. A lot of really interesting talk.
But not a whole lot of leaps of faith - not a whole lot of people willing to help us.

We started in the grocery store. Our qualifier was curly hair. And Greg was doing all the talking (It's one of our mini-experiments). So we talked to a lot of women (because most men seemed to have short hair or no hair) and 2 in the store said yes to an interview.

While we were in the store we ran into Anna - who was passing through to visit the parents of her best friend.

Anna took our card and left a message with Mark and Maura.

We talked to a few more people in the pizza parlor and outside of the movie theater. Again, everyone took our card but no one could host us.

We talked to two women on a walk who were incredibly helpful and friendly. A man in the pizza store offered to treat us (but we had just eaten). He had some amazing things to stay about the state of the nation. The kids outside the theater had a friend for us to call. But no luck really. Just a lot of friendly, talkative people.

Around 9pm we got a call from Erin that was followed by a call from Maura - she said she wanted to talk to us first but we should come on by. This was the first time that we've had anyone want to hang out with us before saying yes. Every time we talk, I mention this to Greg, "Why dont people screen us more often?" I know thats what I would want to do. Chat with some to get a feel for them before offering them a place to stay.

So we headed down there and she and Mark told us AMAZING stories. They joked that we had stumbled into the only liberal home in all of Idaho. It was probably true.

Their daughter Lily, was very articulate and excited.

Maura made us blueberries with yogurt and cinnamon and we talked till very late.

In the morning the day care was open. Maura takes care of anywhere between 7 and 14 children on a daily basis and we woke up to giggling kids.

She made us a DELICIOUS breakfast despite her business and they sent us on our way.

It was an amazing evening.

and Maura offered to send me earrings that makes. I want to send her something too.

The Lesson of the Day: There is always someone who is willing to help. Even in a town full of people who are scared of cameras and strangers. And there are always people who will try to help you, but cannot take you on themselves. And sometimes the people who are willing to help are incredibly friendly and have good stories. And sometimes they feed you amazing food.

I've been thinking a lot about my post from Bonner's Ferry. About the idea of excuses. I think excuse is the wrong word. There is something there that is important to get at, but I dont ever want to hold it against some one or accuse them of making excuses if they are unable to take us in. To some people being hospitable means having a bed for people to sleep in. Or a clean house. or food to feed them. And though we dont need all of that, it is still important to some people. Maybe its not only fear that stops people but the pressure of hospitality.