Sunday, April 5, 2009

Two Sisters in Naples

An Original Polaroid Land Camera photograph by a friend's wonderful father, a true Renaissance officer (at the nearby NATO base) & a gentleman. Naples area, same time as the On the edge of Vesuvius photographs. (This photo has aged, yes, but the tones were on purpose, I'm certain, from having seen the photographer's other work.)

These two women, Sorella Louisa & Sorella Chiarina were responsible for an orphanage for girls. It was not an orphanage in the strictest sense as most girls had families; however, mostly for financial reasons, the girls did not live at home. The alternative was prostitution; most were under age 12. It was about as shocking as anything I'd seen or heard & I'd seen & heard plenty before then.

We spent a lot of time with the girls, the local priest, Louisa & Chiarina, & a few others who were about during that time. Many girls went home for a few days during the holidays.
We all worried a lot about what might happen if some of the girls' families (read: the father) did not allow them to return. This happened more than occasionally.

One little girl who remained behind during holidays was from Nice. She'd been dropped off unceremoniously about a week before this photograph & of course did not yet know much Italian. I was asked to visit with her. She was adorable, of course, & I don't know what happened to her. It's not all tragic, some hilarious things (intentional & unintentional) occurred. But that's another time. I race against time for now. Louisa & Chiarina were wonderful & took good care of a lot of children with very few resources. They were the very definition of grace. xo


Beatriz Kim said...

This post really moved my heart. There are times when I wonder if I have suffered more than most. When I read about this kind of story, I realize many have suffered even more. I am also trying to recover from my past and my illnesses. I'm trying to blog about it, in hopes that it will help me on my road to recovery. I hope this helps you too. Kudos for your bravery!

giulia said...

Thank you Beatriz. Will visit your blog soon. Having computer problems & earthquake today in Italy taking attention away from blogs. I tried to email you but it wouldn't go thru. Will try again later. I hope that you might see this...xo S