Written by Bernadette, a volunteer and student from Saguaro High School
I didn’t know what to expect on my first home visit. All I knew was the family was from Iraq and composed of a mother, father, and five kids: 10 year old twins (boy and girl), boys 7, 5 and 6 months old.
When my mom and I pulled up, I was surprised at first when the three kids happily ran up to us to shake our hands and say “hello” with no trace of an accent. I soon realized that “hello” was almost the only English they knew.
With help from our translator, they told us how they fled to Jordan in 2005 because they were being targeted for two reasons: they had received help for their business from a humanitarian aid organization, and they had sheltered and treated a US soldier who was wounded in their neighborhood until he was able to leave. For that, two uncles, in addition to other relatives, were killed.
When we asked the father how he liked America he replied, “I’m happy that I’m here, I feel safe, I don’t worry about things, except it’s hard in the beginning because of the new culture.” That happiness was clear during our visit. As we spoke to the father, the children played with us, making silly faces. The whole family was excited to make a new life in the US.
Thank you for giving back to WTAP and for sharing your story, Bernadette!