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July 2009

Refugees Make Their Own Decisions

Day 11 The plan and reality did not quite mesh today.  There is a great lesson in this.  Every refugee family is led by at least one adult.  Adults are allowed to make their own decisions. What happened, you ask?  The intention for today was to get the family out to sign a lease for […]

Refugee Camps and Orientation Meeting

Here’s some background information on the refugee camps in Thailand for the displaced people of Burma, www.tbbc.org.  The Burmese refugees that are settled in our community come from the Mae La, Umpiem Mai, Nu Po, Tham Hin, and Ban Mai Nai Soi camp. Things still moving forward, but slowly so I have combined two days […]

Grocery Shopping and House Discussion

Day 8 When I started this blog I expected to be writing about a lot of good details.  Afterall, the refugee resettlement process normally starts with a flurry of activity, hundreds of volunteer hours in the first few weeks. It seems strange how relaxed we’ve been able to be this time around.  I’m sure that […]

Karenni Cultural Information

Day 7 We picked up a copy of the house lease today with the hopes that the family will sign it tomorrow.  Then we can begin to firm up move in plans. One member of our refugee resettlement team has worked with Burmese refugees for nine years.  She got started at a different church before […]

Signup to Donate Furnishings

Day 6 Today was the first Sunday opportunity to “advertise” our new refugee family to our church congregation.  We’re looking for donations of furniture and household goods, things that we can use to turn an empty house into a comfortable home. A member of our team put together a complete list of furnishings and household […]

Grocery Shopping, Medical, and Surprise

Day 5 One member of our resettlement team took 3 members of our refugee families to a grocery store again today.  Rather than being a typical American grocery store it was an Oriental food mart.  This way they could get some foods that are more familiar to them. They also went to Pick n Save as […]

Not a Normal Resettlement

Day 4 Normally the first week is rather intense, but every refugee resettlement case is a different situation.  Sometimes, apparently, radically different.  By accepting two resettlement cases, via an extended family of 8, we expected more work than usual.  Yet, we have less work. The reason behind this unusual situation is two-fold.  First the families […]

Background Tasks

Day 3 Not much happening today.  For one of our refugees, an eye doctor appointment was scheduled yesterday for a visit today.  Upon seeing him today our medical team concluded his situation was improved enough that the visit would not be necessary. In fact, all family members look and feel fine at this point.  We’ll […]

Social Security Office and Groceries

Day 2 – (First Full Day) A couple members of our resettlement team ventured out this morning to pick up the 8 family members and take them to the social security office so they could all apply for social security numbers.  It’s necessary to get these applications in as soon as possible. As it usually […]

Picking Up at the Airport

Day 1 We showed up at the airport about 10 minutes prior to the arrival of our refugee families.  It didn’t take long before we spotted several people carrying IOM bags proceding down the concourse. IOM – check.  Ethnicity – check.  Number of family members – ???.  Yikes!?  There are too many people!  We agreed […]