“Your friends are here too, introduce me!”, I say to the girls of the house.
“They are not our friends”, one of the 3 girls says arrogantly, “they are shepherds!”
I felt like I've been slapped hard. It's like something was pouring out of me... I put my arms on the girls' shoulders and pulled them close to me.
“I am these girls’ aunt”, I said, “I came from Istanbul to see them”.
“My father was a shepherd too!”, I added.
They asked me what do I do for a living.
They asked where was I teaching.
They were very surprised when I said I was a psychology teacher at the university.
I then turned to leave.
The girls of the house accompanied me to the car. They gave me the biggest, more tender hug; a hug so tight I felt my heart grow.
To love is to be a parent to abandoned souls, I understood that once again.
Ayten Zara Erzurum Village School Construction /
Child Abuse Prevention / Development Projects 2020