From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

July 26

Pembe and I found each other in a hot, dry field in the south of Turkey. I was walking, and she was watching her goats graze. She approached, talking Turkish and seemed irritated that I did not respond. Taking my hand, Pembe escorted me across the field to a small gray shack.

We entered her house through a crowded kitchen and living room. Pembe pushed down on my shoulders, telling me to sit. Then she resumed shouting her Turkish phrases at me. I matched her energy, repeating her words back.

Two hours later, we walked together, arm in arm, out of her house and over to the fence that separated her land from the villa where my group was staying. There, Pembe said good-bye—“guli guli”—in a quiet voice and waved.

Now when I hear the news of deaths and disaster caused by an earthquake, Turkey is no longer a faraway, somewhat obscure place on a map. It is a country of apricots, goat cheese, golden fields of grass, dancing children and wise women wearing the wide, patched pants of everyday life.

Heidi Ehrenreich

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