Thursday was so fun. So fun. Except the part where my kids ran around my new friends’ apartment like crazy people and fought the whole time. Otherwise, perfect.
We stopped over at their apartment to check in and teach them how to use their washer & dryer. The boys had gotten together some books and toy cars (they could only part with three – we are working on having a giving heart, but seems like we still have a long way to go) for Strong and Precious. Stratton was more interested in jumping off the futon, which Strong liked to watch. Stratton and Strong just chased each other around the rest of the time. You don’t need to know any language when you are running and yelling.
The family showed me their new stuff from shopping. The CSIRP took them to Shopko before I arrived to get them some winter duds. They got scarves, shoes, coats, trousers. This was really helpful, as I was able to get some clothing and shoe sizes for the people that had asked me about donating things.
Then we sat down and talked about what else they might need. They both said they would like some cups for tea. Also requested – a toilet brush and toilet cleaner. They also asked for pajamas. They are all so cold. The high here has been around 40 degrees. All of them had their winter coats on the entire time I was there. It was very funny, they are hoping they get “used” to the cold soon. Me too, guys, me too. The house itself wasn’t cold, but maybe I need to help explain the heater a little better (I’m just realizing this now, as I’m typing this).
Sawyer had tried to learn some Swahili to say “Hello, how are you?”, but it wasn’t correct. Instead, Scout took over and we learned how to say “What is your name?” (Jina lako nani?) and “My name is….” (Jina langu…). We wrote it down, but all the paper I had was an old receipt. You can see where I totally failed the first line. Alex took over and wrote it correctly for us.
On to the laundry – they had only ever hand washed clothes. I joked that they are going to LOVE the washer and dryer! They told me that the heater (baseboard heat) in their bedroom wasn’t working, but one of the apartment people came over and checked on that while I was there. The other thing they needed help with – using the vacuum. They had never seen one. So, we got all of that taken care of and started a load of laundry.
We chatted a little – about where they are from, the refugee camp, the orientation they had received. But, I’m hoping to learn more as our friendship grows.
We were there only about an hour and a half, but it went very fast and we laughed a lot. Before I left, they showed me this giant spoon that they use in their cooking and then gave me one as a gift. We also got some African clothing (stay tuned for a picture of us wearing these). They are going to teach us how to use the spoon and teach us how to prepare some of the food from their country. Friday, we are introducing them to some of the finest American cuisine – PIZZA!
I told them I would be back soon with a few of the items they were needing – I knew we had some pj’s for the kids and some extra coffee mugs. I also grabbed some coloring books and crayons for the kids. When I arrived, they showed me that they couldn’t complete the laundry. You guys, I told you I am a laundry pro. I was able to figure out that the dryer wasn’t plugged in. Here’s hoping that is the biggest issue we face this week!!