The first time I saw her, she looked frustrated. To me, she was the lady in black – not just her appearance, but also in her conduct. I handed her nametag to her with a smile. She just stared at me as though unaffected.
The second time I saw her, Scott was teaching from his Care for Caregivers material. She was glued to him in a way that made me think, “This must be a completely new topic to her.” At the end of the session, she seemed to be consumed in thought.
On the third day, when tea was offered to her, she looked both pleased and astounded; she appeared glad to be respected by others and yet astonished to have found someone had penetrated through her aggressive front.
The fourth time, it was my turn to be surprised. I saw sparkles in her eyes while she was joking with one of the ladies she had just met in the workshop.
The last time I saw her, while saying goodbye, she hugged me fiercely and thanked Operation Mercy staff for the workshop. I could see the enthusiasm in her eyes and a desire to return to her distant city to practice what she had learned.
A couple of months later, I received an email from her with a picture attached to it. She explained that attending Operation Mercy's Caring for Caregivers workshop had changed her greatly; now she knows that she is important too. She reported how now she occasionally buys small gifts for herself and her husband. Even if it’s only a pair of socks, she says she realizes how important it is to recognize what they are doing, in order to have the courage and energy to serve others and God.
How do you take care of yourself for the work that you do?
Written by Nazanin Jafarinejad, Liason Officer and Assistant to NGOs Capacity Development Project.