After my last Friday Light you just would not believe what has happened. I’ll tell the story again (sorry to those who read this but shall write differently this time) However I have a lot of new readers after my trip to Nigeria!
Over Easter my family booked a Majorca villa break for a week in the sun. We booked a villa and off we went, with toys packed, sun cream and plenty of books to read by the pool. I so needed a holiday too. Yes my whole family went out – 5 kids, with 7 very heavy cases all turned up at Palma airport, Majorca waiting for our pick up which we paid for in expectation of a fabulous holiday.
On arrival though the so-called pick fails to show up. So we are stuck for an hour as I show the address of the villa to countless taxi drivers who don’t seem to know where it is. Then bingo, a taxi driver recognises the photo I show him of the villa that just so happened to know the location as he made a drop off there. So we head off, kids and two taxis into the mountains with no idea where we are heading, but hugely excited again. We arrive at the villa the taxi drops us all off and we are waiting at the top of the house drive.
A well-dressed gentleman came out of the house and comes up to me, and I duly announce, ‘hi it’s the kennedys, you know the holiday’” and showed him pictures of the villa and he wasn’t saying anything. I knew something wasn’t right. He looked at the pictures of the villa we booked, which he confirmed was indeed the house.
“But it was not for rent.” he said.
My wife was almost in tears. There we were, my whole family was stuck on a wall on an island with no idea where we were, no internet with our cases on his drive with nowhere to stay for the night with my seven year old claiming it’s an amazing holiday and jumping for joy.
I guess it’s not about what we experience- it’s about the emotion we decide to give the experience. It had to happen and was meant to be; I mused. I knew the night before that it wasn’t right. We had been scammed. The decision we had was to go to the airport or to stay and sit on the wall of this house and nurse the family’s oncoming tears and solve the impossible. Or was it? Was not the decision to think positive? Was that my only option in order to survive this?
I looked at my seven-year-old who had been packing his bag for weeks in great anticipation. There was no way we were going home I thought. I started to collect myself after the initial shock. All eyes on dad, even the owner, I looked at my family all sitting on a wall outside the villa looking broken.
Think positively, think positively, image all the great things that can happen from this unique experience. You have to OK! The kids start to walk back up the drive into the night with their heads down; we have no idea how to get a cab, we didn’t even have an address. I waited for what seemed like hours as time froze. Then something quite extra ordinary happens.
The German owner, Klaus, looks at me with his wife next to him. And like a scene of Les Miserables, where the priest invites Jean Valjean Klaus, invites my whole family into his house to stay for the night. I have never met this man and he never met me. I reach forward and give him a hug; it was quite a moment as I hold back the emotion as the kids (now heading for the gates onto the road) come running back to the house.
We leave house house in the morning and end up in a really nasty house for the night, but we keep at it. The story continues… but it took another two days of going up into the mountains and living on the beach with our cases next to the sand until we finally found another property. We unpacked after 3 days of hell. But all the time, not once did mum and dad allow for our youngest to ever think his parents were actually having the worst (and the best) holiday ever.
Then strange things started to happen. Our story went onto local news, then local iB3 TV and then the Kent messenger picks up on it. Millions of people are being scammed all the time. I pledge to stop this happening to other children. And as I went on the news, I received countless mails from other families that were scammed like us and others that I managed to stop! I was saving families from this hell! I felt so good. Even though I was broke.
I kept thinking positively all the way through the holiday. Yes, my daughter had a broken foot too. Yes, Majorca had the most incredible and worst storms in years during the week we were there, yes, we had no money left for food, as yes we had to rent another villa and cough up for that, and yes holiday insurance didn’t cover it and we were freezing cold; yes I lost over Euro 5000); but I was determined to allow the experience to flow through me without effect. My God what a test, but the Kindness of Klaus and his family was so powerful I had also experience real humanity too.
I kept thinking positively. Then things began to change- slowly. A gentleman knocks on our door of our emergency villa and brings a Majorcan cake as a gift fro Majorcan people and offers a car to the police station and free translator. Then I had a call from James Villas in the UK, they read our story and said offered us a Villa over the summer free of charge!. A free Villa! I couldn’t believe it. I thanked my stars so hard that night as I watched the storm waves breaching the defenses.
I kept saying thank you God for this terrible experience, it was a refreshing thing to do. Then the messages came through to me via Twitter, Facebook everywhere. I was saving hundreds if not thousands of families from our fate by my unprecedented publicity drive and managed to stop them booking scam holidays.
I came back exhausted with one day to fly to Lagos (another lovely story). When we experience the scum of human life (if you can call it human) – all I could do was not give it the energy required.
I was only to think of saving other families and making it a good thing as I do today still now. Then a friend calls up and says his boss has a Yacht in Majorca, he would we like to stay there for free if we cover flights. We had to pay flights but then soon after that I was offered enough money by the UK tabloids for the story to pay for my wife and I, air fairs. Wow! Again, another offer. I refuse to think I lost the family savings for a summer holiday. I have to.
And I outright refuse to allow other children to turn up at airports like we did to discover their holiday was ruined.
And here I am today. I thank you all in advance (as I see you my future) creating positive from negative. If someone throws the deepest darkness at you, take up the mirror to send back blessings and good intentions and see the power of that! Yes the mirror-that-calls; a place where I find the truth
The Mirror-calls of life
PS I am ending this story with a picture that is now positive of my wife and I and my eldest son when we got the news of the free villa. You just cant be knocked down if you apply positive thinking.
Here’s to being Victorious and to stand to for what you believe in and never giving in to the darkness that his so weak.