Friday, May 06, 2011

Meet Nancy Malfanti

Up till now, the Journeys of Aunty Jo Jo has largely focussed on the places, experiences, food and shopping that I've enjoyed on my travels. An area which hasn't been given enough prominence are the people whom I've had the privilege of befriending along the way. Hence, an introduction of a new feature entitled "Along the Way" where I'll be sharing encounters with wonderful people I've met.

Enjoying a walk along Manly Beach (Sydney) with Nancy

One of the most interesting people who has claimed a special place in my heart is Nancy Malfanti.

Nancy and I become the unlikeliest of friends when we lived in the an apartment complex in Belmont Avenue in Wollstonecraft. What would a 30 year old Malaysian corporate road warrior have in common with an elderly Australian retired kindergarten teacher? A lot more than you think!

What impressed me most about Nancy was her hunger for knowledge! She is an avid subscriber to correspondence courses from the "University of the Third Age" and in one of our first conversations, she completely blew me away with her knowledge of DNA coding and genetic engineering! She also took courses in Art History, Geography and Literature.

We developed a special bond over the garden in our complex since Nancy was solely responsible for ensuring we had the loveliest blooms throughout the year. The gorgeous baby blue and peacock blue hydrangeas that greeted us each spring were a product of Nancy's hard work throughout the year.

Our friendship grew steadily as I often volunteered to take her out for a drive to the North Coast (around Palm Beach) where she grew up or to the Southern Highlands for a cup of tea. I learnt so much about her life, her marriage and her aches and pains. But the most important thing I learnt from Nancy is that we must never stop learning.

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