I think being a good host or being hospitable is about making others feel welcome when they come to our place of work or our home.
It is putting people at ease so they feel comfortable and in good company.
We had a lot of visitors to our home over the years, some coming for morning tea, (this is where I perfected my muffins) or sharing a meal. Often young people travelling stopped a while. There were visits to the farm from NZ and overseas farmers and agri-business people.
For a while there we had a lot of kindergarten and school trips. Apart from seeing the cows and calves we had numerous pets:
At one stage we had 25 rabbits in a large outdoor pen where the kids could get in and sit and stroke them. We started with Philomena and her sister (we thought).
Also in residence was;
canaries in an outside cage (mine),
calves for pet day at school,
cats and a labrador dog.
So our place held a certain allure for kids and the adults who came with them. There was also always a good run around the paddock afterwards to let off steam before leaving.
The meal table is a great place for people to get to know one another and share experiences. We learnt a lot from our overseas visitors. I hope it was mutual! Again, it is making everyone feel relaxed and at home.
I remember one you American, (Jeff) who stayed a few weeks. He told us how neat it was to stay with a real family, as there was Lego out covering a good size area of the lounge.
If we are too pedantic with cleaning and having everything just right and it its place it can make our guests feel a little on edge. To be able to laugh easily and have interesting conversations to me is a great way to live.
When Nikki and I opened our women’s clothing boutique, réve, in Palmerston North, the shop felt like an extension of our home. We welcomed customers as friends and we wanted to put them at ease. It was about being friendly and connecting to others no matter who they are, and so it became a nice place to be.
Bryan and I have met many amazing hosts and so have learnt a lot from them too.
When we have been to stay with friends and found the bedroom beautifully made up with flowers by the bed side table with a choice of reading materials, a little bowl of dried fruit, and jug of water and lovely fluffy towels on the end of the bed. It is very nice to be a guest!