The first family we will visit is originally from Bhutan. The family consists of a father (53), a mother (54) and their three children. The two daughters are ages 14 and 13 and attend school. The “Senior Son” as he refers to himself is 26 and has his 25 year old wife living with them. In Bhutan the father was a farmer and took care of cows and horses. The parents left Bhutan and lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for 19 years. The “Senior Son” does not remember much about Bhutan as he was 7 when they left. In Nepal, the children were able to go to school. The “Senior Son” speaks English well and was studying to be a teacher. He says that teaching is his passion and he would like to teach here some day. His role in the family now is to work and support the rest of the family. The father had cataract surgery in one eye and is recovering before he has surgery in the other eye. The mother has back pain and can’t walk for extended periods of time. The younger family members are adapting more easily to their move. The parents are having a hard time adjusting and feel isolated in the apartment. The “Senior Son” tries to take them out of the apartment to see other places when he can. The family has some friends with a car that help them get places.
The second family is also originally from Bhutan and lived 19 years in Nepal. The father (51) worked as a carpenter in Bhutan. The mother (46) worked at home with the children. There are five children living with the parents (ages 24 to 15) and one son living in a neighboring apartment with his wife. The 17 year old son has job to help support the family. One of the daughters is disabled and needs constant care from family members. The father is taking English classes so he can work as well. Their hopes are for all to learn English and improve their living standards.
The last visit will be to a single woman (28) from Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka she worked as a graphic designer and would eventually like to get back into that here. One day, while still in Sri Lanka, she was with her brother and father and a bomb exploded nearby. Her father and brother were killed and she was left with many injuries and shrapnel throughout her body. After this incident, she and a remaining brother decided to leave for Thailand. She was given refugee status and her brother remains in Thailand waiting to be accepted. She has been here for about 6 months and has had one shoulder surgery and awaits two more where she will have shrapnel removed from a leg and possibly from a hip. She would like to find a roommate to share an apartment with, heal from her surgeries and go to school. She left four sisters and her mother in Sri Lanka and communicates with them via internet daily. She is a tough little lady.