Catherine Ogie-Lucas and daughter Princess (right) visit with a newborn Burmese baby and two older Burmese children.

Catherine Ogie-Lucas and daughter Princess (right) visit with a newborn Burmese baby and two older Burmese children. Photo by Can Turkyilmaz

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’—Martin Luther King, Jr.

For the February Advocate, we profiled a woman named Catherine Ogie-Lucas.

As I pitched her story to the editorial staff here, I began referring to her as the adoptive “mother of the Burmese children”. That’s the best way I could think to describe this woman who spends the vast majority of her free time clothing, feeding and finding ways to make life better for a community of Burmese people who have settled in Lake Highlands.

A staple of the Burmese home, children take their shoes off before stepping indoors or on carpet. Instagram photo by Can Turkyilmaz

A staple of the Burmese home, children remove their shoes before stepping indoors or on carpet. Instagram photo by Can Turkyilmaz

Our photographer Can Turkyilmaz had an opportunity to see what I meant when he accompanied Ogie-Lucas to the Newport Landing apartments on Walnut Hill to visit two newborn babies. He noted that the “village to raise a child” mentality was strongly at play here. You could hardly tell which people lived in which units, because they were all back and forth, the older children at times caring for the babies, he says.

Ogie-Lucas moves comfortably throughout the environment, Turkyilmaz says, speaking the kindest words to the families and delivering gifts for the infants. His challenge was to photograph without disturbing the natural order.

“I arrived with all sorts of equipment in my backpack,” he says, “but I was selective about what I pulled out. I wanted them to act natural. I wanted to blend in. In the end I just used one camera with a wide lens.”

Look for our piece about Ogie-Lucas in the February 2013 Lake Highlands Advocate.