The first family we will visit is from Iraq. The father and mother have a 15-year old son. They fled Iraq for security reasons. They arrived here in Phoenix in December. The father was hit and wounded in crossfire in Iraq. He has recently undergone surgery, which the family hopes will help him recover from his injuries. The mother and father do not speak much English, but their son speaks very well. He says he didn’t learn English in school; he learned by listening to music and watching English movies. The son attended school in Iraq, and is enrolled in high school here in Phoenix. The family is happy to be here, safe in Phoenix. So far they like it, although they say it is very hot. The mother is so happy to have the support of our community. She asked that this message be relayed to the WTAP volunteers: “Thank you for your help!”
Two neighbors, a man (26) and a woman (37), who fled Cuba together, share the second apartment we will visit. They initially traveled to Ecuador, and then slowly made their way up through Central America, sometimes by bus, sometimes by car, sometimes on foot. In Colombia, they were robbed of their belongings, but they managed to get to the border in Mexico where they were granted asylum. They have been in Phoenix since October. Both the man and the woman have found jobs. One works during the day and one at night so they rarely see each other. The man has a cousin here in Phoenix who has been able to help them. The woman had to leave 2 children behind in Cuba: a 15-year old daughter and a 9-year old son. She misses them very much and is hoping to be able to bring them to live here with her now that she is employed and more stable.
The third family we will visit is from Afghanistan. The husband (26) and wife (25) have been here since December. The husband was a language specialist from 2008-2014. For his safety, when his service ended he was given asylum in the USA, but his wife could not come at that time. He lived in Texas for a year before returning to Afghanistan to help secure a visa for his wife. They have been in Phoenix since December. The husband is working, and the wife is taking English and sewing classes. The husband has a friend here in Phoenix, another armed forces translator from Afghanistan. The couple is happy to be reunited and safe here in Phoenix.