July 12, 2007

A late night

Posted in Uncategorized at 2: 51 pm by MK

So presumably a first blog post would start at the beginning. I promise to get to all the good explanatory background info. eventually, but for now I’m jumping in with both feet.

Last night at 11:30 p.m. I went to the airport and welcomed six new Burmese refugees to the U.S. from a refugee camp. I went as their new mentor/English tutor. Two staff members of the local USCRI office were there as well, along with a translator. Our translator (also a Burmese refugee) had only arrived in the States last week. With ID numbers on sticky tags pressed to their shirts and IOM bags in hand, we said hello to a family of five (mom, dad, children ages 2, 5, and 10), and a young man, unrelated. I attempted to say “Welcome” in Burmese.

After their luggage was collected, I drove our translator along with the dad and baby home to their new apartment. Our translator spoke very little English and the dad didn’t speak any. The car ride was quiet interrupted by my attempts to communicate. I was also silently praying we wouldn’t get pulled over; the baby was without a car seat.

We moved them into a nice apartment in a safe neighborhood. Waiting at the apartment was another USCRI staffer, who was fluent in Burmese. She explained who I was to the family of five, and that I would be coming to the apartment to begin English lessons. They smiled and gave thanks. I said good night and left trying to put myself in their shoes at that moment. It seemed impossible.

I’m heading back over tonight to begin tutoring.  Right now, I have no idea where I’ll begin.


1 Comment »

  1. Megan Fulwiler said,

    Wow. This is going to be an amazing way for you to document your experiences, ideas, questions, and work. I’m looking forward to reading this!!


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