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May 3, 2011

Iraqi FlagThis week’s first visit was to a man, 26, from Iraq, who arrived in late January. In Iraq, he worked as an interpreter for the coalition. In this position he worked on government projects, such as a census. He faced difficult times due to the release of his job, but was eventually granted a visa to come to the United States. He still has family in Iraq and brothers who reside all around the world. Thus far, he is enjoying life in America and luckily has friends from home in the valley and a brother who is in the process of coming here as well. He spends his time visiting with friends and looking for a job.

Iraqi FlagThe second family is a large, boisterous family from Iraq. The family includes the parents, and 4 children, ages 25, 23, 22, and 12. The family was threatened by the escalating violence in Iraq and fled to Syria where they lived for two years. In Iraq, the father owned a grocery store, the son worked as a carpenter in a church, and the daughters attended school. The family is happy they are safe, but they miss their home. The older children are looking for jobs right now and are hoping to enroll in school in the fall. The youngest son is attending school.

Ethiopian FlagThis weeks’ final family of 6 is from Ethiopia. The parents, and 4 daughters, ages 17, 13, 11, and 8 arrived in late January. Soon after arrival, the father was in a terrible car accident and he is still in the hospital, but should make a full recovery. Luckily, the father’s brother was able to come from Minnesota to help out the wife and children with their transition to the US as well as the father’s injuries. The family initially fled Ethiopia after persecution by the government. They fled to Kenya where they lived for 12 years. The father has family in the United States, including a brother who he had not seen for many years. The children are in school and are learning English very quickly.

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