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March 6, 2010

Bhutanese FlagThe first two families we visited were actually one large family, split between 2 apartments. The family left Bhutan in 1992 as a family (parents and six children) and spent the next 18 years living in a camp in Nepal. While living in Nepal, the family’s father died in hospital (eight years ago) and three brothers were married (two have children – a boy, 1, and a girl, 2). The family of 12 eventually learned of the process to immigrate and were approved to do so this fall. 5 arrived in October and the rest followed in December. The family has seen the WTAP truck before and one brother has helped translate for another family that has been helped by WTAP – needless to say they were very happy to have a visit from WTAP.

The final family we visited was a single mother and her 12 year old son and 11 year old daughter. The son was about to celebrate his 13th birthday a few days after we visited. The mother was raised in Congo by her uncle with her cousins after her parents died. When her uncle was killed, she took on the responsibility of looking after her cousins. Eventually, they fled to Zambia due to armed conflict in Congo. At this time, her son was just a year old and her daughter was born on the way. The family eventually went their separate ways, leaving the mother and kids. Mom managed to find work as a hair stylist at a 5 star hotel, enabling her to provide for her children, though this was not easy in a country that is tough on foreigners. She wanted to move forward with her life and better provide for her children. The family arrived in Phoenix on Dec.1.

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