What stressed me out? We had three new women move into our wonderfully crammed house during the past month, the last arriving the very day Marcee flew away. All three had literally just entered Canada, and the needs can be really huge. Coupled with the shock (and awe?) of just arriving in a new continent/country/city, is the trauma that each precious soul brings with them- It's quite something for a single refugee woman to survive and make it all the way here. Language and cultural barriers can also seem insurmountable.
I contemplated moving into Marcee's room, but with Scott's solid presence at night, decided to spend more time at the house through the late afternoon/early evenings. Katie, Heather and Aimee are also spending some extra time at Welcome Home, bringing sunshine and friendship to the ladies.
I've had to temporarily shift many "director-type" to-do's off my plate and am thoroughly enjoying the change of pace. I suspect my years of a houseful of children and their friends... helped prepare me for these days.
Here are a few of my experiences:
- Teaching S that, "No, you don't have to throw a pail of water on the kitchen floor when it's your turn to wash it."
- Registering a beaming M for English school and orienting her to the downtown- I hope she doesn't get lost on her first day of school!
- Helping M make her first deposit in a bank account and use her debit card for the first time.
- Helping another M with her homework, while she mutters in Arabic, "I feel like a baby!"
- Cleaning out the rank-smelling fridge and discovering unique finds
- Hearing about and tasting the fruits of E's experiences as a chef (I'd hire him to cook for me, but he dreams of being a heavy equipment operator here!).
- Brainstorming about how to get some milk products into newly pregnant and nauseated S, and finding out that although she hates milk (you should see the face she makes), in Egypt she loved chocolate milk. I was off to buy chocolate syrup and pudding mix immediately!
- Taking afternoon tea with the ladies and chatting about life. They call me "teacher" because I love to use every moment and conversation to teach them what they'll need for life here in Canada.
- Teaching M how to access her friends in Sudan using "chat" on the computer.
- Hearing about each person's story, family left behind and hopes for the future. S told me how God answered prayers from last week's Bible study night!
- Prepping G, A and E for moving out this summer and sorting out all our emotions over this healthy, but painful next step.
- Finding out that my fear was SO unfounded- the last woman to move in is such an amazing young woman, a real joyful addition to the family and speaks English fairly well!