We sat for hours on her tiny single bed. It served as chairs, cutting board, ironing board and work station. Two years ago we had sat together in La Puerta when she asked if I thought she was capable of learning to use a sewing machine. Classes started that day. She loved it so much that we signed her up for a course and loaned her a machine. It was quite something to sit in her room on La Linea and watch her do her sewing homework between clients.
And then came the day she was brave enough to leave the exploitation she’d been forced into. Life has been hard but she’s kept going, refusing to look back, even enrolling herself in primary school so that she can eventually enrol in an advanced dressmaking course.
So, there we were, sitting on her bed as I showed her how to make some fancy stuff for our friends’ store. It was hot and uncomfortable and she was as happy as can be.
She turned to her machine (still a loaner – we’ll get her a good one when she’s completed her courses). I was pretty much only thinking about my aching back when she let out the deepest, happiest sigh. “Today I am living my dream. I am sewing as a job.”
And again I realized I have the best job in the entire world.