Tuesday, December 03, 2002

For the last week, one of our aid recipients Raya has been asking me to come for a visit, but with my busy schedule I have been putting it off.

Tonight I went over for dinner and a long conversation at Raya�s, which was filled with so many thank yous to me and her sponsor JD.

I asked her if life is better in the area of her economic condition and she said that she can�t without crying tell me how good she feels in that area of her life now. She said she no longer has worries about where her next meal will come from and now eats healthy.

She told me she owes nothing to anyone and has also been able to buy a new pair of slippers and winter socks.

She told me that she does not know how she survived for as long as she did on what she received. She said that for her 40 years of service as a legal clerk she gets a 6,600 dram (about $12) a month pension which only pays for electricity, telephone, water and trash service. The pension of a little over 5,000 dram she gets for the loss of her only son in the war paid for the most basic food (cooking oil, bread, macaroni, rice, ect.). She had almost forgotten what meat tasted like.

I had mentioned to her about Rosa Myrig and her blood pressure and she said "that woman is like a stone." She went on to say that she lost one son, but Rosa Myrig lost all three of her sons and for her to still be alive after that shows remarkable straight. She said that the only thing that Rosa Myrig has that she does not have is a husband and if something happened to her (Raya) it could be weeks before someone finds her. It was very clear that she feels very alone.

One of the many things Raya said was that she thought it would be an interesting experiment to take someone like the President, give him 6,600 dram and tell him to live for a month and see what happens.

As we were talking I got a call from Rosa Myrig, who I had been trying unsuccessfully to contact. She told me that she had not seen the doctor yet. I told her I would arrange to have him brought to her house tomorrow and she said no, I�m not ready yet. She did tell me that her blood pressure shot up again (170/80). I said that I hope that she is ready tomorrow and said that I will come over tomorrow to see her, at which time I will convince her to see the doctor (I hope). Raya spoke with Rosa Myrig and was giving her advice of herbs and plants that she should make into teas that may help her blood pressure. I was very cute to listen to two little old ladies sharing their home remedies.

I finished my visit and Raya gave me a bag full of preserves, bottled tomatoes and 10 farm-fresh eggs from her chickens to take home with me. She said she felt sorry for me as I don�t have my mother here to look after me and as a mother herself, it�s the least I could do as if her son was in the same situation, she would want someone to look after him too.

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