Tina & David Trehondart
Learning an important lesson from a humble servant in Doha
"Tina and I have been living in a hotel for the last seven months and we are treated like royalty.To top it off, we‘re in the Middle East where the level of service is incredible. One of the many staff members is Anthony. He takes amazing care of us. Always has a smile on his face, never says no. One day, Tina wasn’t feeling well and he brought flowers to our room. He even wrote a handwritten card to go with it. As I was walking him out to head back to my office, he was asking about Noa, our 1.5 year old daughter. Naturally I asked about his kids. I learned that his 2-year-old son Nathaniel, who lives back in Kenya with his mom, had leukaemia. I was speechless, only after five months I finally asked about his private life and I was shocked by what he is facing. How can you deal with a challenge like this, being far away from your family, travelling to his son as often as possible to give him blood, but still give to others and be constantly so nice and supportive to everyone? Never did he mention how hard it was financially too. Everything he earns, he sends home to help his family. I was deeply humbled, and I decided to help. Simply giving money was neither fun nor was it engaging, Together with Tina, we organized a week of daily sports activities for all my colleagues in Doha. A sign-up fee, one activity a day and the more you participate, the less you have to pay afterwards. That was one way to incentivize people to do things together, sweat out all the hummus we eat, and obviously raise money for something that matters. The program was pretty intense. We started with beach volley on Sunday afternoon, football on Monday, high-intensity workout on Tuesday, spinning on Wednesday and we closed it off with aquagym on Friday. It was so hot that we had to cancel tennis on Saturday. My colleagues really played the game and we got amazing turnouts. We did not tell him anything and kept it a surprise all along. Overall, we managed to raise more than $2,500. To celebrate him, we organised a Butler’s Appreciation Day where we handed him the money and thanked him for spoiling us with attention to details. After receiving the envelope, he opened up with the story to all of us. This project is a reminder that behind "all-good-in-the-hood "appearance you might find a lot of pain and struggle in a person. Anthony is grateful that he can provide for his son and family and he does not complain.