One family we will visit consists of a husband (age 30) and wife (age 26) who are expecting their first child in early December. The husband just started working at a cutlery company last week. The husband is from Eritrea. He fled his country for Ethiopia because of war when he was a high school student, leaving the rest of his family behind. He hoped to be able to continue to study, which he was not able to do in his country. He lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia where he met his wife. The wife is Ethiopian. The couple arrived in Illinois in February 2014 where they lived until they moved to Arizona two months ago. The couple have no family here, but they have Ethiopian friends who help with their adjustment to Arizona, and with translation when the wife needs it. The wife does not speak English yet, but she plans to take English classes after their baby is born. They live in a studio apartment. The wife has decorated with beautiful baskets that she wove while still living in Ethiopia. A caseworker is trying to help her secure materials to weave more baskets, and to look for a way to market and sell them here. The couple is happy to be in America and believe that they will have a better life here.
Another family we will visit this week consists of a husband (age 31) and wife (age 19). They arrived in Arizona from Afghanistan in late September of this year. The husband speaks English fluently. He is teaching his wife to speak English, and she also plans to attend English classes at a nearby school. The husband has a college degree in structural engineering. He worked for the American government for five years on a variety of civilian and military projects. He is proud of the contributions he made constructing roads and bases for his country. His home village was outside Kabul and he believed militants there would eventually kill him. His manager assisted him and his wife with their move to the United States. The couple have no family here but they have become close friends with an Afghan family they met on the plane when they left Afghanistan. They are currently living in the same apartment complex. The husband was scheduled to begin a temporary job with Amazon but he was in a car accident last week. He injured his finger and was not able to start work. He was disappointed but he is actively seeking other employment. He has a computer with internet access which is very helpful. The wife is a tailor. She would like to find employment in her field after she learns English. They would both like to pursue higher education when they are financially stable. The couple is happy to be in America because they feel safe here.
Another family we will visit family consists of a husband (age 28) wife (age 29), and their two children. They have a four year old son and a one year old daughter. The family is from Afghanistan. They are close friends with the other Afghani family we will visit this week, whom they met on their flight to the United States. The husband worked in logistics for the American military in Afghanistan. He has a degree from the Faculty of Literature at Kabul University. The family left Afghanistan because of death threats against the husband from militants and the Taliban. The only family they have in the U.S. is an uncle who lives in Las Vegas. Unfortunately they have not been able to contact the uncle. They are happy in Arizona. The wife, who is a tailor and a cook, would like to learn English. She would like to use her skills to work here. Her husband hopes to improve his education and also to find work here.