I have mentioned earlier that the grandpa of our family has a strange mass on his foot. I have contacted the health care group and got an advice of a clinic that we can check out. I am going to go there with one of the group members so we can see what kind of a place it is. Also our family is going to another doctor and we advised them what questions to ask in order to find out more since it seems that the doctor wasn’t too helpful the first time. If he or she wont’ help then if the other clinic checks out then we will take the granpa there. Also, I volunteer at a free clinic for people who do not qualify for insurance. It’s on Chicago/Western but I’m not sure if our new friends would be willing to go there. There’s long time to wait for appointments and long time to wait for a doctor but they are very good. I was thinking of getting help from a dermatology specialist to finally get this health issue resolved! The name of the clinic is Community Health Clinic!
Like everyone else, I missed seeing my family this week. Normally I see them on Thursdays, and this past Thursday I was in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi seeing relatives. I have a big family and there were more than 50 people at my Thanksgiving dinner. Seeing all of those relatives made me conscious of the fact that in the part of the world from which my refugee family came, communities can be much more closely knit. I wondered how much family they had left behind and whether they would have considered my Thanksgiving to be small or large. Even now, they have formed stand-in relationships with other families in their building. On many nights that I’ve visited, the children are being watched by people down the hall, and people wander in and out. Looking around the makeshift tables and chairs at dinner, I wondered what it would be like to have all of my cousins around for support all of the time. I’m looking forward to seeing my family this week.
Since I did not visit the family this week, I wanted to use my blog to jot down some thoughts about the movie on Iraqi refugees in Syria that we watched in class. It made the think about a few different things that I thought were relavent to our experiences. First, one of the men who was interviewed mentioned the influx of refugees destabalizing the state and it made me think about how relocation is so difficult because of the population expansion that is already taking place. As much as a government may be moved by particular stories, they are committed to their citizens (is this a failure of the nation-state system??) and may not have the resources so prefer to opt out rather than disappoint. Second, the video showed Iraqi communities and enclaves that reminded me a lot of the Indo-Pak community right up Devon. For me, it’s kind of a spectacle and I like going to get food down there, but for new citizens I’m sure it’s incredibly important and meaningful. And maybe that kind of an enclave means that assimilation isn’t as necessary because it would be entirely possible to become successful by working in that community and finding resources there.
So, just some thoughts that I had made some little notes on during the film.
Not this past Friday, but on the Friday before that, we took our wife to see the ABC 7 studio downtown, because she has a degree in journalism and is very interested in TV news. I feel bad for her because they don’t have a converter box so she can’t watch the news on her TV at home, so we thought taking her downtown to see it live would be exciting for her. However, the whole time she seemed kind of down…I don’t know if she was just tired, or maybe she was homesick. When we arrived she tried to talk about some of the journalistic things she could see through the window, like “producer” and the concept of “live TV” in French. Still, she didn’t really seem blown away by any of it. At the end though, when they put a camera on the crowd outside the window, all three of us were on TV! So we waved and I told her, “Everyone just saw you on TV!!!” and then she seemed excited.
Afterward we went to Macy’s to look at the windows, which I also think she enjoyed, and then we took her inside for a bit to see the big Christmas tree in the Walnut Room. I think she may have been a little shocked at some of the stuff in there…right away I told her, this is a very expensive store and she said “Oh its a store for the wives.” Haha. We took an elevator up and it went very fast and afterward she looked like she might feel a little sick! She liked the big tree, but then she turned and saw furniture on display and I think she was confused by that! She wandered over to it right away…I feel like she has never seen anything like that before. She was shocked to see how expensive things were too…chairs in a dining room set were like $250 each.
Although we were not downtown for very long, I think it was good just to get out of the apartment for a night at to show our wife some more of our city. I hope that before winter break we can still take her to the zoo or at least on some other adventure in the city so she can see different things Chicago has to offer.
I normaly meet with my family on Thursday nights, but because of Thanksgiving break I did not get the chance to see my family this past week. It was weird not going to see them and like Kelsey I miss not seeing them this week. As this semester is wrapping up I am curious if I will continue to see this family next semester or if I will be assigned to another family.
On a different note, I am very excited the heath care committee has received the grant for the first aid kit project. I have really liked working with my group this semester and I am glad we our biggest goal has been reached.
I’ve only seen the family once since last post- only less than a week ago and I feel like it’s been forever!! I miss the kids and I feel like I keep bringing them up in conversation. We asked them if they’d like us to continue visiting them to help with their homework, and they automatically said yes. I’m glad. Renee and I discussed how we would arrange meeting with the family- maybe we wouldn’t always go see them together at the same time, maybe we could take turns visiting. I’m not sure how this would affect our visits- I know that in the past we have relied on each other to go on days when one of us can’t go. If we go on our own, we will need to have some way of contacting the family in emergencies when we are unable to make it to their house. The dynamic of the visits will probably change, but it will allow us a lot more flexibility with our schedules, which seems like a totally positive thing.
Another thought- the grant that Julissa and Kate’s family will be getting to start up a business is so exciting. The mother in our family is also a talented crafter. She knits intricate sweaters. Almost every time we see her she is knitting. The family has money coming in from the father’s job, so the situation is slightly different. However, if the grant works out and Julissa and Kate’s family benefits from selling embroidery, maybe there is a chance that business model could also work for our family.
While home for break I had been thinking about my family since I usually go to see them on Saturdays and I found myself discussing my experiences with a friend. Randomly as I was telling my friend about them I received a call from my family. They had called just to say hello and to ask how my Thanksgiving was. After getting off the phone my friend said how nice it was that they call to say hello and later on in the day I thought about how the relationship I have with my family has grown; specially in light of the semester coming to an end. Prior to coming home for break my family had expressed how thankful they were for the help Sarah and I have provided them. It really made this years Thanksgiving alot more meaningful. The opportunity to be involved with and build a relationship with these individuals has been so meaningful to me. It has truly opened my eyes to new things I had not noticed before.
As the semester nears its end, I hope to do what I can for my family before I go home for winter break. Yet, I anticipate what next semester will bring as I hope to continue staying in contact and visiting with them outside of the requirements of a class. Two weeks from now when I go to visit them it will be truly out of friendship.