Whew, finally found the site and figured the dashboard. Now to inform the masses of this amazing process.
This post will contain information from my first two visits with my refugee family.
The first time that I went to visit our refugee family, there was a clear language barrier. As we entered their one-bedroom apartment, I was immediately in love with the smell. The smell of their home cuisine was very strong and powerful, but I loved everything that I smelled. We tried communicating with our family through hand gestures and basic english, but realized that nothing was going to be accomplished through it. We gave them our gift of fruit and cookies and then left. This visit lasted only about 25 minutes and was a very awkward experience for the both of us. We tried contacting the translator quite a few times but did not make contact, and we both had forgotten to put the resource numbers in our phone. I certainly felt like I had let the family down and this did not rest well with myself.
The second visit was so much better than the first visit. It started the same way as before, Anna and myself had entered and took a seat on the couch. The husband was not there when we showed up, and we tried to call the translator twice, but there was no answer. I was starting to think we were going to get nowhere and I pulled out the flashcards that we had received in class as a last-ditch effort. As I pulled the cards out of my pocket, the mom said “A”, I was shocked. We had finally found a way to connect. The next 10 minutes involved us going through the alphabet, she had good knowledge of the alphabet and got a majority of the letters correct, I was amazed by her pronunciation.
During this flash card session, the translator called back and after 10 minutes of speakerphone, passing the phone back and forth between ourselves and the mother, our translator said that she would show up. When she showed up everything just seemed to be right for once, I forgot about everything that had been bothering me during the week and I was in the moment, the happiness of this situation took over. The translator brought what I assume to be her son and husband. They were both fluent in both languages and we were able to find out things about the family, introduce ourselves properly, and set up a solid time with the family. Leaving that day, I felt like I had done something amazing, I truly felt like we were at the beginning of something huge.
That’s all I’ve got on the first two. I’ll update on the next two visits in a later post.