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December 12, 2009

Burmese FlagOur First family is from Burma and consists of a father, age 44, mother, age 39, son, age 19, and three daughters, ages 12, 11, and 8. The mother was not at home at the time of our visit. The father was there; however, he is hearing impaired, so we spoke with the son. He speaks Karen, and his grandmother, who speaks Burmese, was there. They fled Burma to Thailand when he was a small child. The daughters were all born in the refugee camp. The son is in high school was but was off for a doctor appointment. They arrived in Phoenix in September. When asked about life in the refugee camp he replied it was difficult. They could not go outside the camp because they were all considered illegal immigrants. They were not allowed to work there because of Thai law; however, they were allowed to go to school.

Bhutanese FlagOur second family is from a refugee camp in Nepal. They are a mother and father, both aged 43, and a son, age 15. They welcomed us warmly and the cooking aromas were very nice. They left Bhutan with their families at very early ages and have no memory of their homeland. Their families were rice farmers. They left because of religious and human rights reasons. They are Hindu and the Bhutanese government was forcing them to become Buddhist. They lived in the refugee camp in Nepal for 17 years. While there, his father worked in construction. Their son was able to go to school. He is doing well in school here and especially loves math. He needs a bike and bike lock to go to and from school since they do not have bus passes, and he walks a good distance. He also would like to have a computer, CD player and other electronics popular with 15 year olds. They arrived in Phoenix in mid-August and their neat, tidy, and clean apartment is sparse. They will appreciate all WTAP can do for them and are looking forward to Dec. 12. In particular they need a rice cooker, vacuum cleaner, and microwave. The mother’s sister is here also with her husband and 7 year old son. They have nothing for their new baby girl expected on Dec. 4. We are hoping to have special items for the new baby too. A cradle would be very nice.

Our third family is a brother and sister. The sister is 31 and the brother is 24. Their parents are also here with three younger siblings. In addition, an older sister and her husband are in Phoenix. This brother and sister have almost nothing but a bed each and a sofa. They would very much appreciate a rice cooker, a TV, DVD player, and other forms of entertainment, in addition to the household items needed such as blankets, a microwave, dishes, etc.

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