March 17, 2012

Somali FlagThe first family we will visit is a Somalia family of five: a mother (25), two daughters (10 and four) and two sons (eight and five). Their moderately sized apartment is in need of furniture but there is also not much space. The mother lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for 15 years where all her children were born. Poor working conditions and no school system for the children were primarily what she did not like about Kenya. This young mother was able to earn a little bit of money doing odd jobs around camp which included bringing water to families who could afford to pay for a water carrier. What is most striking about this family is their fantastic spirit. The children are smiling, happy and ready to play, and the mother retains a great spirit. Both the girls and the boys are extremely gregarious. The mother has a support network of other family members in this apartment complex. The family is very happy in Arizona and the United States. They especially like the weather. They requests backpacks to replace torn ones.

Bhutanese FlagThe next family we will visit is a family of seven from Bhutan. The family consists of a father (56), mother (42), one son (22) and four daughters (26, 25, 18 and 16). One of the parents’ siblings also lives in the apartment complex. The family has a pleasant demeanor. The family spent 19 years in Nepal after being forced to leave Bhutan. All the children attended school in Nepal. The father was originally a farmer in Bhutan. Working in refugee camps was difficult but he was able to work in odd jobs. The family misses Nepal as they had friends, more family and a large support network in the refugee camp. However, they like Phoenix and their school-aged daughter likes her new school. Their second floor apartment is bright and airy and equipped with a good amount of furniture. They would like a large armoire for storing dishes. They need a large table to replace their existing broken folding table. Several of the adult children are looking for work housecleaning or doing other services. They would like decorations for their home, stuffed animals and dolls.


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