Cross cultural connection
years before, gestures, patience and the dictionary provided great communication and a wonderful time.
Finally, with the help of an online map of Germany, Mr. Hinks found the spelling of the town's name Oschersleben, Germany. That gave him the information he needed to find Mr. Benroth's telephone number through directory assistance.
"He never had visitors and I had very few," said Mr. Hinks. "We just connected."
"When he realized it was me, you could have heard the noise he made three blocks away," said Mr. Hinks.
He said he bought a big German English dictionary in preparation for the visit as only Mr. Benroth's brother in law and daughter spoke English at all. But just as in hospital 35 Nike Air Max 90 Ultra Breathe Mens
Mr. Hinks said he tried without success to find Mr. Benroth over the years, especially since moving back to Port aux Basques in 1999.
Mr. Hinks recalled how an employee of the company which owned the fishing vessel on which Mr. Benroth worked brought the men German English and English German dictionaries to help them communicate, in addition to gestures and what words they could figure out on their own.
"I've got them all saved, every one of them," said Mr. Hinks of the letters and pictures.
Mr. Hinks was nervous about seeing his friend again after so long, and meeting his family for the first time.
Mr. Benroth was from East Germany and spoke no English. He was injured while working on a fishing dragger close to Newfoundland and was taken to St. John's for treatment. He suffered compound fractures to one of his legs when steel doors aboard the vessels slammed shut on him.
Mr. Hinks described how a nurse on the orthopedic ward asked if she could move another young man to the bed next to Mr. Hinks. She said the other man was also far from home and was depressed, missing his family and feeling alone.
"She thought moving him next to me would be good for him," Mr. Hinks laughed.
"They rented a motorhome in Halifax and did Prince Edward Island, and came across to Argentia and drove through Newfoundland," said Mr. Hinks. The group arrived in Port aux Basques on Aug. 7 for a three day visit.
The men learned a little of the other's language, talked about their families and homes, Air Max 90 Running Shoes
The men kept in touch by letter for some two years after returning to the own lives. However, after moving to different parts of Canada three times in less than two years for his work, Mr. Hinks lost touch with his East German friend.
Norman Hinks spent several months in a St. John's hospital in 1973 recovering from a foot injury suffered while hunting. It was there far from home, friends and family the Port aux Basques native met Hans Benroth.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Hinks, Mr. Benroth was also searching for his Canadian hospital buddy. He couldn't remember Mr. Hinks' last name.
"It would take us half a day to write a little note to the other one," said Mr. Hinks, "but it killed the time."
The group of new found friends visited all the local attractions and took in some local flavour, including berry picking and recreational cod fishing. Mr. Benroth caught his first cod since he stopped fishing commercially after his accident 35 years before.
"The Internet is wonderful," he smiled.
"They were nervous, but I was nothing only a ball of butterflies," he said.
East Germany was a communist state at the time and Mr. Hinks said they talked about how different life there was from Canada. He recalled with a grin that Playboy magazines were forbidden in East Germany and, even though far from home, Mr. Benroth refused to even peak at one in the hospital.
starting a year long conversation with letters and photos being sent back and forth once or twice a week.
Mr. Hinks' telephone call was greeted by confusion, and then the realization of who was on the other end of the line.
Language, culture and the Atlantic Ocean weren't enough to prevent two friends from reuniting and making new memories after 35 years.
Both men were in their early 20s at the time and spent the next three months getting to know each other while lying side by side recovering form their injuries.
With the help of Mr. Benroth's brother in law's English skills the men reconnected. They traded e mail addresses, Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Yeezy
and joked incessantly.
"I could remember his hometown, but not how to spell it," he said.
Arrangements were eventually made for Mr. Benroth to be transferred to a hospital in Germany. The day before he left, he used his Nike Air Max 90 2015 Mens Shoes new English skills to order a pop, chips and chocolate bar at the small canteen for Mr. Hinks, who recalled being touched at the gesture.
But the initial trepidation passed quickly once the visitors arrived, said Mr. Hinks, and the two families were like people who had known each other for years even despite the language barrier.
Soon after reconnecting with Mr. Hinks, Mr. Benroth started planning a family vacation to Canada that would include a visit to his old friend.
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