"Scars" - Humanitarian Aid Dispatch #6; by Evdokia Sheremet'eva (littlehirosima)

Yesterday we were delivering aid all around Georgievka. There were too many stories. Even for me. But that one stuck with me. So much so that I wrote it down that same day. Although when I was in the village, I didn't even understand it. That story only reached me late at night. Yulia, Nastia - they came into my dream and I could not sleep anymore.

- How many people were there?
Nastia answers with a cold voice, without tears or emotion, although she's only 16:
– Nine. 6 shells fell first. Two of my cousins were killed right away.
Nastia looks at me without blinking. Her aunt, who in the summer lost her son and her house, says:
– Nastia was fully conscious through it all. I was taking cover nearby and saw her.

Nastia was hit by grad rockets on August 10th, on the street of the village Yasnoe. Almost everybody near her, including two of her cousins, were killed. She was also hit, the fragments tore her stomach, her shoulder, her legs. Some of them were never removed – she still carries them.

She was laying down and watching grad rockets landing nearby. They fell and exploded. She was laying down next to her dead cousins.
Can you imagine that? In the same village, and man couldn't take the death of his family and hung himself. And she remembers everything down to details.

This girl is more grown-up than all of my adult friends. I have never seen anybody so strong.
Her words cut through everything, down to the bone. There is an quiet certainty behind them.

The aunt says without pause:
– Show your scars.

I got quite uncomfortable. Nastia uncompromisingly explained, as if she does this every day:
– No big deal, when I was in Kharkov, they filmed me in the hospital. I told them the same thing. I don't care. They even showed it on TV.

Nastia bares various body parts. I can't stop, and at the same time feel like a paparazzi, who would do anything for a sensation.
I take a lot of pictures. And then the shame of it stops me. Nastia doesn't care.
She looks at me indifferently – how many journalists, bystanders or international observers went through this routine with her?
She doesn't care. Everybody comes for a story, for pictures. And so she doesn't care.

Next to her is Julia, a beauty, and mom to two kids. Her hair is so gorgeous, anybody would envy it. Julia ran from Georgievka with her family when the airport was being shelled – it's it's very close to their house. Her husband was killed next to Nastia, when they left from Georgievka to Yasnoe.
She has a soft voice and smiles. So young and pretty.
- Can I take a picture of your hair?
Julia is so approachable - I constantly want to hug her, to touch her, simply to chat.
– Hold on a bit. I'll wipe the tears.

We came to them using a list of "families in need" that we got from a local village councilwoman.

There are different families. Sometimes there are grandmas which start crying right away. And some of crying from gratitude and sadness, but some are trying to instill pity. Start groveling, begging. Even though some of the people that do this are clearly not doing too bad and have some savings.

In the Dovtyak family, it's not like that at all.

When we came, everybody smiled. Even though they did not know us. We laughed with them, and they thanked us.

And then I started asking them questions.

Rimma Nikolaevna took out the portraits of her son and nephew right away.

Nastia closed herself. She was probably thinking "this again..."

Nastia, Julia, I would never dig into this if I had the choice. All these photos, video. Every time when I walk into a house and write such stories, I feel shame. As if I'm walking over your souls in my boots.

But, unfortunately, the reality is that without this I will not be able to bring you more and more food.

If you want to help - write me a private message in LiveJournal, Facebook, or my email – littlehirosima@Gmail.com
Frequently asked questions on humanitarian aid can be found littlehirosima.livejournal.com/56195.html(to be translated shortly).


Beginning of LitteHirosima's story, and how it unfolded (read "beginning" first):


PS. From the translator - her Paypal offline at the moment, but I've sent her some cash before, chatted.

If any questions, try to message her - she speaks English. She really did appreciate last time some American from LL (I think) messaged her and helped. But may take some time to answer, I think right now she's on another one of Lugansk aid trips.