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July 16, 2011

Nepali flagThe first family we visited was a mother with her two sons (18 and 24), who all arrived together, but the boys still had three sisters in Bhutan. They were farmers, and of Nepalese ancestry, which lead the political leaders to kick them out of their own country. They stayed in the refugee camp in Nepal for 19 years. The older brother doesn’t remember the journey to the camp, and the younger brother was born in the camp, which gives you an idea of how long they had to spend in the camp. There were 8,000 people in this camp, and that left about 5 or 6 families in a hut, which was the housing unit in the camp. They have been living in the United States for 4 months, and the oldest son already has a job at Panda Express. They all seem to be enjoying living in the United States.

Eritrean FlagThe second family left their home country of Eritrea about 8 years ago. The father was a student , but wasn’t allowed to go to school. The husband left two years prior to his wife to Ethiopia, which was about a three hour walk. He explained about how lucky he was to live so close to the boarder. The first people he ran into were the Ethiopian soldiers, who, upon meeting the husband, interviewed him at length, and then moved him to a different city. After about 10 days in the city, he was transferred to the refugee camp there. Everybody in the camp got 15 kilograms of unground wheat per person, and other assorted cooking materials. From that they made traditional Ethiopian bread, and other dishes. Because food was so scarce, some of the blocks of camp came together to pool their resources. They would then sell half of what they had to buy some ingredients such as beans. They have only been in the United States for a short time.

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