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Friday, October 22, 2010


After our meeting on Saturday, Jaime made sure that Guadence had a ride home so she wouldn't have to repeat her five-mile walk--and with no lunch. Like many refugees, Guadence doesn't have the $70 needed for a monthly bus pass. It's common for the refugees to lose a ot of the English they've learned as more and more days pass without access to their English classes.

When Jaime got home on Saturday, she wrote:
Even though Gaudence isn't going to English anymore, she is determined to learn. When I was at her house, she showed me her notebook. She is in the process of copying her entire English/Swahili dictionary by hand into her spiral bound notebook. Pages and pages of handwritten words and definitions, many of which she would have no use for, all in alphabetical order. It broke my heart a little bit, but also I was amazed by her determination.
We always tell people outside of the resettlement world that refugees aren't victims; they are survivors and they survived to see today because they are determined and resourceful. Sometimes, a little help feeds a little hope, and that goes a long way when you're building a new life--from scratch.

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