Broken-down Poetry: Meeting Honya and Mohammad


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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meeting Honya and Mohammad

After Preemptive Love sends kids into heart surgery, they continue to check up on them through a program called FollowThrough. This program allows PLC to make sure the kids are adjusting to life, are healthy, and so on.

Thursday Claire, Lydia and I went on our first home visit with Jessica and Awara.


This is baby Honya. She had heart surgery last November. She's now 15 months old and healthy. She had a parasite a little bit ago, so she's still thin from that, but she's giggling and playing like any little one her age.

Honya's dad calls her "grandma," because she doesn't have any teeth. Toddlers her age should have teeth by now, but the heart surgery delayed her development a little.


Mohammad Star, whom I call the Kurdish version of my 10-year-old nephew Austin, had surgery in November. As we eat the cucumbers, fruit and pastries his mom sets out for us, Mohammad sits close next to his younger siblings, looking up at us timidly. Awara somehow gets Mohammad to talk, showing our Kurdish coworker his toy car.

Awara asks about the chickens running around outside their home. Mohammad raised 14 chickens from a hen and a rooster - all on his own!

Mohammad takes Claire, Lydia and I out to see the chickens. He and his little siblings pose for pictures - and so do we, actually - with the village and Kurdish flag waving in the background.

To get to Mohammad's house, we drove through the mountains. For someone who has lived her whole life in the flattest part of the country, seeing mountains on all sides of me, winding up a huge hill just to get to a village, seems unreal. And euphoric. It felt like I was watching a movie, not really there. Lydia compared it to being in a Bible story, us on an old felt board, a caravan through ancient Babylon.


For all that I've done with PLC so far, this has been my favorite. Seeing the kids we've helped in the past reminds me why I spend 40 hours a week in the office. It reminds me why I try to capture the kids' stories through writing.


* photos by Lydia Bullock

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