Photo: Esfir with photo of parents who were murdered by the Nazis.
Just a week ago, after distributing funds to the elderly survivors, our courier wrote:
Belarus and America: invisible ties
I am trying to count how many times I have visited Pinsk since 2005. According to my chronology, it should be either sixth or seventh time. If at first some people were afraid to open the door or to talk on the phone, were very suspicious, and asked me what organization I belonged to, now they meet me as their close friend, they prepare dinners, make tea and cook special pies waiting for me to come. I can also say that I have new friends, though most of them are twice as old as me. Sometimes I feel that I was born at a wrong time…
During this period of almost three years two of our friends passed away. I would have never thought that Esfir was 85; being almost bedridden, with paralyzed arm and disordered speech, she had a face of a middle-aged woman, smiled openly, eagerly boasted about her grandchildren, who live far in Russia and visited their lonely grandmother only once several years ago (after their father and her son’s death)
The money, which she got from America, prolonged her life – she used it to pay for massage, better medicine, for better food… She couldn’t write letters and send her personal thanks. I will remember her with her hands pressed to where her heart was in eternal gratitude.
ESFIR, her hand on her heart with Zane Buzby,
September 2007, during SMP Humanitarian Trip