Our first family consists of a mother, father, 10-year-old boy and six-year-old girl. The family comes from Bhutan. They were forced to leave their country due to the agitation and unrest. The parents fled to a refugee camp in Nepal, where both their children were born. They described life in the camp as difficult, particularly because they were not allowed to leave the camp while they were living there. However, they were able to learn a little English while they were there. They arrived in America in October and they have enjoyed it so far. The father is looking for work and had a job interview the day of our visit. The children are both attending school and are enjoying attending school as well. Their son is on the honor roll.
The second family comes from Iraq and consists of a mother, father, and three son’s ages 15, 12, and 7. They described life in Iraq as very different than their current life here. In Iraq they lived in a large house and everyone was able to have their own room. In America, they are living in a small apartment and the boys are forced to share rooms. They came to America for their safety and arrived in September. The father has been ill and has spent much of his time in hospitals. They are happy in America because of the safety. In Iraq, hospitals are not always safe, even from attacks that are not directed at the hospital. Here, they do not have to worry. The children are in school and the school is helping them learn English.
The third visit was to a couple from Iraq. They left Iraq for their safety. Their life was described as simple and the husband worked as a taxi driver. However, due to the bad circumstances there they were forced to leave their home and family behind in Iraq and move to America. They arrived in September and have enjoyed their time here so far. Their life is now comfortable and happy. They feel free here and appreciate the safety that they find here. The weather is close to the weather in Iraq, which helps them to feel more at home. They are able to keep in contact with their family in Iraq and make sure to ask about the safety of those still at home. Both are taking English classes offered at their apartment complex.