Hey sweet friends, intern Hannah here. A few days ago we met with our lovely seamstress Aziza. It was one of my first times visiting the home of one of our wonderful ladies and boy was it a culture shock - in a beautiful way. Walking into the home, greeting with the traditional 3 kisses to the cheeks, and taking off my shoes at the door, not things I am used to doing but which I have quickly come to appreciate as part of the Muslim culture. She invited us to sit as we caught up. I was introduced to her kids, lined up on the couch opposite where I was sitting. She has 4 adorable children, one of them a newborn, and I giggled seeing them seated in order of their age. Each looked up at me with big, dark eyes as they greeted me and said their name with the quietest voices.
We then went in to what is supposed to be a dining room - what Aziza has turned into her sewing room, and went over the bags we brought to her to be sewn. Though there was little ability to converse because of language, there was no pause in conversation. More importantly, there was no lack of joy present - I felt it enveloping the room. Never have I felt so comfortable around a stranger, let alone a stranger from a culture very different from my own. But we sat with ease as we conversed - mostly through hand motions and pointing. All were sad when we had to depart.
That morning we left her with about 5 bags. When we returned the next morning, less than 24 hours later, sweet Aziza had every bag finished! She told us she had stayed awake until 6 that morning finishing up the bags, we had arrived at 8:30. I was in awe of the dedication of this quiet, beautiful woman. Another thing you should know about Aziza - she has no table for her sewing machine, let alone a chair to sit on. She places the pedal that makes it run underneath one leg, holding her baby on the other. And her bags are perfection. I have such an appreciation for this sweet mother, wife, and now someone I can call friend.