Guiding tours here in Norfolk for different people is not only a daytime job for me, it is a passion. Probably because I like what I do, not only because it pays me well, and although it does not hurt to be able to afford things, I am very much enjoying myself with the job.

Getting to meet different kinds of people with different backgrounds and different views of life makes my work very interesting to say the least. There are local people and also people from other states who are either here for work, or just enjoying their vacation. I sometimes also get to meet people from other countries, who are very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit this great country of ours, and I always make it a point to entertain them more thoroughly, for them to fully enjoy their visit here.

There are some genuinely interested people on every tour and you can very well see them from the pack, always asking questions and eager to see where we would go next. There are also the people who are just around passing the time, maybe they were just forced to join or some other reason they are here, feeling bored, I usually just let them be as I know they already have enough trouble on their hands. I am also lucky and thankful that I have not encountered trouble makers or hooligans on my tours, as I wouldn’t know exactly how I would handle them.

I have encountered many different things during each one of my tours, some pleasant and some not so, some so unexpected that you would not believe it ever happened, and also some things that touches the heart and makes you feel that what you do is appreciated. I remember during one tour a few years back, a young couple approached me asking if I know of any pregnancy announcement ideas they could use, this is where I got a couple of tips from I was kind of shocked about it, that of all people to ask, they asked me, their tour guide. After my initial reaction passed, we did manage to think one out and it involved a postcard-like picture of the couple with USS Kennedy as backdrop, with the caption “The three of us enjoying Norfolk”. I was happier than they were when they said they would eventually use it, and up to now we still keep in touch and have become good friends.

And then there was this baby who was suffering from newborn hiccups during the course of a tour last week. The mother was visibly agitated and was at a loss on what she is going to do with her baby, so during a brief break in the tour, I discreetly approached her and told her to put the baby on his back and gently pat between the baby’s shoulder blades and see if it relieves the hiccups. It is common knowledge for experienced mothers that hiccups is caused when the baby either swallowed too much air or is full from feeding, and that the way to relieve it, is by letting the baby burp, thereby releasing the excess air in the baby’s system. The baby slept peacefully after the procedure, and the mother got to enjoy the remainder of the tour.

I got so many more stories to tell with regards to things that happened during my tours, and all of them have become part of who I am today. I am very thankful for each and every one of them, and I know there will be many more of those to come. I truly love this job.

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