I always wanted this office to be more and more involved in things that matter to the soul. Deadlines are important of course, but often, we need to stop and smell the roses.
Not long ago, we came down to Panti Werdha Melania (a senior home) down in Rempoa, Jakarta. Besides shooting the seniors and the facility for their new website, we also had this big desire to connect to them. For me, being quite active in the church circles, this visit was not my first time. But surprisingly, many of the guys have never visited a senior home before. This fact had made me more eager to give the fellas this experience.
Henry and Wiwik were the first to arrive since the early morning to take pictures of the morning workout. The rest of us arrived later at around 10 am. We bring some snacks, cameras, but most importantly, we bring ourselves.
Like in every point of life, what humans really need is love. Attention. Time. Same goes in this place. Especially in this place. There are many stories of why they ended up here that we cannot be the judge of, but senior homes are often synonymous with loneliness, abandonment, and broken hearts. That’s why when we were there, we gave them all we could. Fresh jokes. Truthful laughters. Genuine interests. And everything given out sincerely will always come back to you. So while Henry was snapping away in his small portable studio, we connected. We asked, we listened, we laughed, we held hands.
By the time we were finished and packed up ready to leave, they were so happy that they try to stall us as long as they can. “We have lots and lots visits to this place, but you kids are the first one that made us feel like we were visited by our real families,” Grandma Anna said. We were surprised to hear this, while at the same time greatly humbled.
Those guys that never visited a home before? Well, they got a bit quiet on the way home, but I can see in their eyes that they had learned and taken something, whatever it was.
Everything given out sincerely will always come back to you. Same goes in this place. Especially in this place.