Valet the Burro!

Word of Mouth

Traveling around the world and meeting clients that are culturally diverse provides not only new cultural experiences, but pretty funny stories too. My staff and I have to cater to the needs of the client regardless of how weird or crazy the task may sound. One of my favorite anecdotes is one that we joke about on many occasions around the office, which we formally refer to it as “How to valet a burro.”

It was a hot and humid day in the island of the Bahamas. We were setting up the wedding of a wealthy, internationally recognized older businessman and his much younger South American wife. The couple met while the husband was conducting work in a large country in South America, and they instantly fell in love. As we were double-checking every detail of the wedding, we get a call from a Bolivian relative of the wife.

As the bride-to-be is from a Latin American country and I barely know two words of Spanish, I handed off the phone to the groom’s executive assistant who was not fluent, but definitely spoke more than I did. I hear the assistant mumbling on the phone with what sounds like an older man, as a puzzled look washes over her face. The assistant finally starts to understand what the man on the phone is saying and lets out a huge gasp and then a laugh.

At this point I am beyond curious as to what this man could possibly be calling for. Did he miss his flight? Was he too sick to come? Did someone die? Did someone just give birth? Was I about to have to cancel the wedding? The possibilities were endless as I was sorting through solutions for these made up scenarios. As soon as she calms down she tells me one of the wife’s relatives has never been to airport let alone flown anywhere. He had no idea what to expect so walked with his burro 30 miles to the airport as his trusty steed carried his baggage. Once he got to the airport he didn’t quite know what to do with the donkey. He called in a panicked state as he worried what would happen to his friend.

The lovely assistant called everyone she could and reached a barn near the airport that would store the burro for the time the man was at the wedding. My staff and I are still puzzled at what the man was thinking he would do with the burro once he got to the airport and if he thought he would take it on the plane like a little caged up lap dog.

Luckily, the relative got to see the beautiful wedding take place and got to go home to a safe, well fed and bathed donkey. I have been in this business for 17 years and I can honestly say I have come across some bizarre tasks, but I have never had to figure out how to valet a burro!