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Pay it forward: All’s well ends well

February 18, 2010
The Vancouver Olympics are upon us and many Finns have made the trip over to see the games.
In having plenty of Finnish-Canadian connections, I often get called to provide information or point people to other connections that may help them.
A few weeks ago I got a phone call from a gentleman in Tampere (I’ll call him Mr. S) who needed to secure some accommodation in Vancouver because he was planning to travel there for the Olympics. So I suggested the name of a business contact I have in Vancouver and the Vancouver Finlandia Club in hopes that they might be able to help him. I told him to call me back if it didn’t work out. A week or so later, Mr. S called back saying that no one had answered his enquiries.
It was then that we exchanged e-mail addresses and he forwarded me the critical information. Then I learned that no, he had no waited until the last minute to get accommodation – the planned accommodation he and his friend had set up had suddenly vanished and they were in need of help – fast. Mr. S indicated that one friend had unfortunately passed away and the other had moved away from Vancouver. <YIKES>
So I set the wheels in motion and told Mr. S that I would send an e-mail to my cousin who lives in Vancouver. I warned Mr. S that I wasn’t too optimistic of finding him anything at such a late date. So with a couple dozen messages flying back and forth between here and Vancouver, my cousin and I managed to scrape up something affordable for Mr. S and his friend. They’ll be perching at a hostel near the rowdy Irish-quarter in Vancouver, where my cousin said the partying goes on (loudly) into the wee hours of the morning. Mr. S has been to the Olympics before (3-4 times if I recall), so I imagine that he and his friend have seen and heard it all.
Mr. S actually happened to be in Helsinki last week on the same day I did, so we met. He thanked me profusely in the form of a coffee and a Runeberg tart. Smile And as of this writing, he should actually be just about ready to depart for Vancouver.
A friend who also lives in Vancouver reminded me of a good thing to do in a recent message, "Pay it forward." I hope I just did…
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