December 03, 2012

Bhutanese Flag

The first family we will visit is originally from Bhutan. This husband and wife, ages 51 and 47 respectively, arrived in mid-October from a refugee camp in the Jhapa district of Nepal. They had lived in the camp for approximately 20 years after fleeing their home in Bhutan. The husband had been a welder and electrician in his homeland. They left Bhutan because they did not feel safe there due to the many criminals in their village. They also felt threatened by the military. When the harassment escalated, they left with their three children and many other villagers by truck. They left behind a large family home and settled into a bamboo hut in the refugee camp. The husband worked as a farmer. There was no electricity or modern conveniences.  Everything was rationed and the family felt that they were treated poorly due to their refugee status. Now that they are here in America, they hope to experience a safe and peaceful environment. They do not speak English yet, but their eldest son who arrived in 2010 is in the area and is offering assistance. Their daughter relocated to Pennsylvania.

Bhutanese Flag The next couple we will visit is related to the first family, profiled above. The husband is their youngest son. He and his wife are both 21 years old. They have been married less than two years. When his family fled Bhutan, the husband was a toddler so he grew up in the refugee camp. Both he and his wife completed Grade 10, which was the highest level offered within the refugee camp. They speak a little English but will need additional instruction. Both are looking forward to finding employment and starting their new life in Arizona.

Burmese FlagThe third family we will visit this week is from Burma. Details about their journey are few due to a strong language barrier. This family consists of a husband and wife, ages 24 and 25 respectively, and their seven year old daughter and two year old son. They speak a relatively unique dialect of Matu and are from the Chin state located in the western part of Myanmar. They left their homeland in 2005 via bus and boat, traveling first to Thailand and on to Malaysia. In Malaysia the husband found work selling food to support his family. They arrived in Phoenix in mid-October and have family members in the vicinity.






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