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The Joy of Visitors: Daily Delights and Lasting Connections



Introduction

Our home has been a bustling hub of activity, blessed with visitors right from the onset. Until 2020, when COVID-19 caused disruptions in the social fabric of our lives, not a single week, and some weeks, not even a single day would go by without hearing the bell at our gate ring, announcing the arrival of family, friends, and colleagues. That ringing became a familiar and welcome sound, a symbol of connection and community. But the pandemic brought a sudden stillness, muting the lively echoes of our home and reminding us of the fragility of our social bonds. Join me as I reflect on the joys and lessons learned from welcoming others into our lives, both before and during this unprecedented time, and discover how these connections have shaped us as a family.


The Daily Visits: A Hub of Activity

Visitors come to our home daily for various reasons, creating a lively and welcoming atmosphere that resonates through the walls. Some started coming to wait out the traffic jam, finding solace and companionship in our living room. Others would pop by before going out, either midweek or Saturday, making our home a hub of activity and laughter. My nieces would occasionally come for counselling; others to learn to cook. The cooking lessons never really took off because my nieces often turned up with their friends, so they would join in while I prepared homemade delights.


Many people have expressed enjoyment of my cooking. Encouraged by this, I started baking additional portions that they could pack and take with them. Since I buy in bulk, including cheese and groundnuts, family and friends often 'shop' from my home, selecting from the abundance of available products. I even keep empty ice cream tubs and plastic bags for the purpose. This practice has become a little tradition that brings us all closer, turning ordinary shopping into a shared experience.


Making a House a Home

Our home exudes such warmth that, after a greeting, most people, including first-time visitors, naturally head to the kitchen, wash their hands, and then to the fridge. Probably because of that, the next logical stop is the dining table rather than the living room. Besides the porch, the dining table is the go-to place for most visitors on arrival. Partly because of that, we bought a 12-seater to accommodate the numbers.


It is these little rituals, these shared moments at the dining table and throughout our home that truly make a house a home. It is a sign of comfort and trust, a testament to the open and loving environment we have cultivated. The sounds, the smells, the laughter and warmth; they all intertwine to create a place where everyone feels welcome and loved. In our home, we have not just built walls and rooms; we have nurtured relationships, fostered connections, and created a sanctuary for all who enter.


The Warmth of Connection: Visitors as a Blessing

My husband and I do not visit much; in fact, we rarely visit others, but we are blessed with visitors. This constant influx of friends and family into our home has become more than just a routine; it has evolved into a symbol of connection and shared experiences. I believe that this has contributed to the strengthened relationships with family and friends. We take the time to update each other on what is happening in our lives, fostering bonds that transcend mere acquaintance.


Many people who have been to visit comment that our home is very warm. I think this is because it is a lived-in home—a home that is host to many visitors. It is not one of those homes where you feel like taking off shoes or sitting at the edge of the sofa. This comfort, this sense of welcome, is not accidental; it is cultivated through embracing the cultural richness and human connection that visitors bring.


As our children have grown and ventured off to university, the house that once bustled with their energy and laughter has transitioned into what some might call an "empty nest." But for us, the value of visitors has only heightened during this phase. The void left by the children's absence is filled, not with emptiness, but with the warmth and camaraderie of friends and extended family. Visitors have started, and will continue, to fill this void, turning potential loneliness into a vibrant and enriching experience.


The Benefits of an Open-Door Approach

The benefits of this open-door approach are manifold, and they extend to various aspects of our personal and communal lives:


  • Enhanced Emotional Intelligence: The children's emotional intelligence grew as they got to know their aunts, uncles, and cousins. Interacting with a diverse set of personalities has helped them develop empathy and understanding.

  • Cultural Enrichment: By hosting visitors from different backgrounds and cultures, we have created a melting pot of traditions and values, enhancing our appreciation for diversity and fostering mutual respect.

  • Learning Hospitality: The children learned the significance of, and how to welcome and entertain guests. This has not only taught them manners and etiquette but also the deeper cultural significance of hospitality.

  • Joy and Happiness: Visitors often bring joy and happiness into our home. Their presence uplifts our spirits, turning ordinary days into memorable occasions filled with laughter and contentment.

  • Improved Self-Awareness and Confidence: Engaging with visitors has improved self-awareness and confidence both for the children and for me. Regular social interactions have honed communication skills and helped in personal growth.

  • Strengthening Community Bonds: Our home has become a gathering place, strengthening community ties and reinforcing a sense of belonging. In a world often disconnected, our home stands as a testament to the power of human connection.


Visitors are not just guests in our home; they are part of the fabric that weaves our family together. They bring with them stories, wisdom, laughter, and a sense of togetherness that transforms our living space into a vibrant community hub. In our home, we have not just offered a seat at the table; we have shared life itself.


Balancing the Welcome Mat: Potential Drawbacks

From my experience, the benefits of family, friends, and colleagues visiting far outweigh any drawbacks. The joy, warmth, and connection that visitors bring into our home create an atmosphere that is lively and enriching. However, it would be disingenuous to suggest that this open-door policy is without its challenges. While our experiences have been mostly positive, I have observed and heard of situations where hosting visitors can present difficulties.


Here are some of the drawbacks, both from our experience and as reported by others:


  • Overactive Children: We have had a few overactive child visitors rearranging everything in the house or painting our faces. While this can be seen as disruptive, I do not take offence in this. I let children be children, embracing their creativity and energy.

  • Overstaying Welcome: Though rare in our home, some visitors may overstay their welcome, leading to discomfort for the host family. In our case, hardly anyone spent the night, and those who did rarely overstayed. However, I know of homes where this has been an issue.

  • Displacement of Children: In some households, children are displaced from their beds to cater for visitors. This can cause disruption to the family routine and may lead to resentment or discomfort among family members.

  • Strain on Resources: Hosting visitors, especially for extended periods, can put a strain on resources such as food, utilities, and space. This may lead to financial stress or logistical challenges, particularly in households with limited means.

  • Balancing Privacy and Openness


Despite these potential drawbacks, our philosophy has always been one of inclusion and hospitality. The minor inconveniences that may arise from hosting visitors are far outweighed by the sense of community, connection, and joy that they bring. Our home is a place where everyone is welcome, and we have found that the positive aspects of this approach have enriched our lives in countless ways.


By acknowledging and managing these potential challenges, we have been able to create a home environment that balances the joys of hosting visitors with the needs and comfort of our family. It is a delicate balance, but one that has brought immense rewards, turning our home into a haven of warmth, love, and shared experiences.


Concluding Reflections

The intricate dance of welcoming visitors into our homes is a blend of joy, connection, learning, and the occasional challenge. From the lively and enriching atmosphere they create to the cultural enrichment and personal growth they foster, visitors have shaped our home into a vibrant community hub. While potential drawbacks may arise, the philosophy of inclusion and hospitality transcends these minor inconveniences. Our home is not just a building but a living testament to the power of human connection, where walls and rooms are imbued with stories, laughter, and shared experiences.


Join the Conversation!

Reflect on your own experiences with visitors. How have they shaped your home and relationships? What joys and challenges have you encountered? We'd love to hear your insights and stories!


1. Reflect on: How has the presence of visitors influenced your family dynamics and personal growth?

2. Consider: What practices or traditions have you developed to welcome guests into your home, and how have they contributed to your sense of community?


Feel free to comment below, share your thoughts on social media, or engage with others who have shared their experiences. Let's keep this meaningful conversation going!



About the Author

Nite Tanzarn is an acclaimed consultant with a robust professional background in development management. Her passion for gender equality and social inclusion reflects in her writings, where she often explores themes of connection, hospitality, and community. In this particular post, Nite shares her personal insights on the joy and challenges of hosting visitors, drawing from her rich cultural experiences and family life. Her writings continue to inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and engage in meaningful conversations.

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9 comentarios


Invitado
28 oct 2023

A house without visitors is an empty house....if I remember correctly,

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
28 oct 2023
Contestando a

Indeed, you've captured the essence beautifully. Visitors bring life, energy, and a sense of community to our homes. Thank you for sharing that poignant saying; it truly resonates.

Cheers,

Nite

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #TheJoyOfVisitors #DailyDelights #LastingConnections

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Invitado
27 oct 2023

I love visitors. They are a blessing indeed.

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
28 oct 2023
Contestando a

Absolutely, visitors bring a sense of joy and community, elevating our daily routines into moments of genuine connection. Thank you for your insights.

Cheers,

Nite

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #TheJoyOfVisitors #Blessings #Community

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Invitado
18 oct 2023

Count yourself blessed if you get visitors or have friends.

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
18 oct 2023
Contestando a

You are absolutely correct. Visitors and friends enrich our lives in immeasurable ways. The simple act of sharing time and space can have profound impacts on our well-being. It's a blessing that should not be taken for granted.

Cheers,

Nite,

#NITETANZARNIntellectNest #GESI #NiteTanzarn #Hospitality #Family #Friends #Visitors

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Nabwire Esther
Nabwire Esther
12 ago 2023

Thank you for reminding me of the importance of having family and friends coming over. Indeed it is a joy 😊.

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Nite Tanzarn
Nite Tanzarn
12 ago 2023
Contestando a

Dear Esther,

Great to hear from you!


It warms my heart to know that my reflections on the joy of visits resonated with you. The connections we make with family and friends through these shared moments are truly precious. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts, and may your home continue to be filled with laughter and love when hosting loved ones. 😊

With warm regards,

Nite

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