One of the many challenges presented by the pandemic for KIND staff has been the inability to meet in person with our clients.
I was thrilled when I finally got to meet face-to-face with a client I had been working with for two years.
We met at a local library. Upon laying eyes on each other, we immediately hugged. Janeth was brimming with energy. She was taller than I expected. Her bubbly personality came alive, but what stood out the most was her fortitude, which was not directly evident through our video calls. Yet, it was there all along laying just beneath her friendly exterior, almost like an invisible shield.
I first started working with Janeth shortly after the pandemic began. We met on a WhatsApp video call. She was friendly, giggled a lot, and open, immediately sharing that she identified as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This was not an insignificant detail for someone from Honduras — where it is not ok to be gay – to reveal, especially during a first meeting. There were many more meaningful revelations to come. She told me her story slowly, layer by layer, like peeling an onion, drawing deeper and deeper from her memories as she became more comfortable and began to trust me.
I would come to learn through many additional video calls that despite all the suffering she had experienced, she had remained true to herself: friendly, outgoing, and determined.