My Dear Mounira,
I love this picture! Do you remember? This is the last photo of all of us. It was taken on my farewell at the beatiful Paradise Bay. Look, there is Kamala, our beloved and respected leader and Gerorge, her husband. There are the volunteers: my work-, flat- and 'lifemates' during my one year long EVS-journey in Malta. And... there is You.
I have to admit you weren't my first thought as my special person. I could have chosen my amazing boss or my caring and loving friends there. But I already expressed my gratitude towards them. They know they are and they will be always special to me. I am afraid, however, I never told you directly how much I adore you. For your strenght. For your brave and spotless heart. For your unconditional devotion towards your family and your 'Centru Tbexbix Family' how you always call the workeres and the volunteers of our after school centre.
You had such a difficult life! The escape from Tunisia, from your homecountry with your husband. You didn't see your family for 15 years... and meanwhile your father died. You were extremely sad but still you didn't want us to give you so much attention. You always wanted to stay at the background and help, 'serve' - in the most beautiful way as a woman can do - from there. Because there are your children, there are the kids coming to the centre, there are the elderly ladies - and you 'have to' take care of them.
You got this offer - helping in the centre with the shopping, the cleaning, the Maltese homework for the kids of the center or looking after the old people in the area - when you were really hopeless. Your husband could't work because of an accident and you were also without a permanent job. Thanks God the good people always find each other: as the mother of Zina and Roberto, who were going to the centre, you made a link with Kamala and she created this position for you.
I know that this means much more for you than just a job. It gave you not only the confidence that your work is precious and you can give your children everything you may think but also you gained a new family and the feeling of belonging to somewhere. A big cliche but so true: this place won't be the same without you!!
I am sure you give thousands as much as you get. You carry the heavy bags from the market, with the volunteers's wishes inside. And you buy even private things for them - because you know where the good and cheap foods and cleaning products can be found. You are a bit a mother of everyone. Is there a Birthday coming? You are the first to contribute for the gift. Is it a holiday? Not for you! What will be with the elderly people then? Who will take care of them? Of course you...
You always think about someone else, never to yourself. You got used to it: you were only 7 years old when your mother died and you had to take care of your younger sieblings. I really wish you, dear Mounira to see them again in this life!
You are a real example for me! I feel so lucky to meet such an amazing woman and special person as you are. Who always cries when a volunteer leaves the project, leaves Malta. You don't have favourite ones, your heart really hurts for everyone. I remember how we agreed in our last meeting: you stayed more in the centre for me and I came for you. We hugged each other but then you left quickly. There were no words needed.
Yes, I love this picture. We are next to each other. But I wish I would have more time to hug you.
With much love,