Elizabeth Loaiza won the People’s Choice Award of the 2019 Melbourne Writers Festival's storytelling competition 'Love & Melbourne' .

My Gorgeous Australian Lady

By Elizabeth Loaiza (Peru)

Bokeh photography

I never imagined that I would find another sort of love far away from my family, but I did.

Before I travelled to Australia, I had been volunteering in my country with elderly people in an elderly shelter for a year and a half. I never imagined how this experience could change my life in Australia.

After three weeks in Australia, I got offered a job looking after an elderly woman in her nineties and immediately accepted it because I already had the knowledge about how to help elderly people.

In the beginning, it was really difficult due to the fact that she had dementia. It made the situation very complicated. Despite her situation, we would spend beautiful times together and I started to care for her as my baby because I realised how she needed me. She loved me and always worried about me and my Peruvian family.

I never imagined finding such a lovely Australian family. They always provide me with the support that I need during my time here in Australia as a student. Even when my gorgeous Australian lady passed away one month ago, all her family still included me as a part of their family.

I don’t have enough words to say thank you for this gorgeous Australian family. They are making my student experience the best in my life and encourage me to continue with my dreams.

I don’t think you ever imagine what is waiting for you on the other side of the world, but if you decide to do the right thing for people who actually need you, every place that you go you will find the right people around you.

Just trust in yourself, do the right thing with love and always help others.