Sunday, May 24, 2009

When Billy doesn't want to listen, call me I will listen. I had the pleasure of having the Das family over this afternoon. They were introduced to hot wings, and Tulasa took the lefts wings home...she's hooked now. Mrs Das is diabetic, which I was not aware of, so she couldn't join in on their 1ft Strawberry shortcake w/whipcream. It was the whipcream that blew them away. I didn't shake can first, then I shook it, and everyone one in the family (8) shook it, the you should have seen the look on their faces when I piled it up high!!

Mr & Mrs Das and I had a class on coupons. I showed how the Frys flyer works and how to reduce the cost w/coupon. Mr Das learned to turn the chicken on the grill. The Mrs Das, Kalpana, Kamala and Tulasa learned and saw the miracle of a dishwasher. Mrs Das was stun to see that the draw of dishes went in dirty and came out clean... "Where did it go?" she asked...

We had a great table discussion, about their transition from having their own seperate home to the camp. The kids watched Lion King. and Umesh had a birthday on the 16th, so we put 10 candles on the shortcake loaf before I cut it up for dessert. and sang happy birthday.

It was a great afternoon.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I made several stops at the Pines after work today. My first stop was with Champa Rai. I learned that she had not returned the call to Melanie Smith her Workforce Counselor at 7th Stt and Mountain View back. I encouraged her that is her #1 task.

Next I went to the Das home and discussed Summer School for the boys with Dal and Kalpana. They thought that they may have received a paper in Suman's school bag but they lost it so the boys will not be going to summer school at Simpson. We discussed the 100 reasons why it was important. I told them I would go to Simpson on Wednesday after work and pick up multiple copies and we will discuss ELL Summer School during Sunday's class at the NNEX. I have a parallel pursuit with the AZELLA Division at the Arizona Department of Education about the under-served students at Simpson. Simpson will be monitored and investigated.

And last I went to the Basnet home. This was my first time in their home. If you recall the Basnets were one of the first families to arrive in Phx. Mr. Basnet has worked at Ranch Market for five months and actually had Sunday off from work so he was at Church for the first time on Sunday morning. They are the lucky parents of 4 wonderful teenage girls. Someone drove Mr. Basnet to Tucson today to attend the funeral of a grandfather (??). I went there to prep Chandrika Basnet and Dahn & Nandu Battarrai for their appoint with the Phoenix Workforce Connection Program for 16-24 year olds. At this point in time we have 3/32 students selected for interviews. They actually have a list of about 6 items to bring to the interview so we needed to discuss and make several phone calls about what document they should us for the birth certificate. They will use the I-94 card and the Permission to work in USA card. My biggest challenge was getting them to make the necessary phone calls. They have a great deal of fear and excitement about this new experience. Phx Summer Youth Employment is still making calls so let's continue to pray that a few more Bhutenese students have this opportunity..

I learned a lot about teaching our friends to fish this afternoon. Teaching them how to fish takes a long time. I had assumed that Champa would make the return call- she lost the phone number and was embarrassed to ask me for it. One can assume that all Bhutenese parents would be signing their children up for summer school - I was wrong. I assumed that the lucky teens who were contacted by Phx Summer Youth Employment had followed the directions and returned calls - they need a lot of encouragement to make those call. I only wish that we could have a mentor for each family.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Some Great Questions from Lynda:

Hi Carla,
I have questions about what it is okay for me to do individually, and where I need to follow certain procedures.
1)–I assume that any donations should go through you (ie Trinity).
For example, I know that Januka and her husband have a tv but not dvd player. I assume it shouldn’t just buy them a dvd player.
We have a certain $ donation we want to make, especially since we will be gone for 2 ½ months this summer. Do I make out a check to Trinity re: Bhutanese, or do I just give you or Mike or someone cash?
At what, if any, point could donations and/or gifts be given directly to the Bhutanese. For example, Januka gave me a necklace from Nepal. I am a beader and plan to give her a necklace that I made, esp. since she’s NOT SINGLE! So, I’m assuming those kinds of gifts are okay.
. Well, I wish we had procedures, and we need procedures, but we're not there as yet. Most the team at various times have felt okay about buying an item or items for a family here and there. So you feel the freedom to do as the Lord leads, but just be aware that lots of requests will probably follow and it's also okay to say no. If you'd like them to have a dvd player but don't want that dynamic to come into play, I could deliver it since I deliver lots of the donations, and they won't have to know it's from you. Savers and Goodwill have dvd players sometimes. I think the beading gift would be really sweet and would be a great friendship gift directly from you. RE: giving, send it to the church and put on the memo line that it's for the refugee ministry.

2)I would like to make a commitment to Januka’s family, but I won’t be much help after June 10 until mid August. Are you formally or informally matching people up?

Until I leave, these are the things I assume I can do:
Take Januka and others grocery shopping, visit her home and answer questions about appliances, etc, work on English, invite the family to my home, take them on other outings.
That would be fantastic! We have seen God working out the connections as natural friendships arise, and it's a real encouragement to me personally when that happens! So you have the freedom to do as much or as little as your schedule allows, and then when you get back, God willing, we'll all be here and glad to see you। I bet they would get a big kick out of getting mail or postcards from you while you are away.

३3) I have no real feel at all on how to help people find jobs!
this is a tough area for sure. Shekkar might ask you to take him to GCA which is a cleaning company with its main office in Mesa. Lots of our friends work for them especially at the airport. He failed the english screening test but can take it again. GCA also has sites around the city which do not require passing the test. Those who are persistent tend to get jobs, though not always full time. GCA can take a few hours if he gets hired. Helen looks through the want ads. You could take them to a Goodwill service center and teach them to look for work themselves using the Goodwill resources. Also, I suggest taking them to the library to get a library card. Burton Barr branch has lots of ELL/ESL dvd programs they can check out. I have some ELL work books if you want to use any of them.
४)4Feel free to pass this on to someone else on your team if it is appropriate.
I will, because this encourages all of us to know that others are catching the vision and see a need and are ready and willing to step in!! I struggle every week with feeling like there's too much to do, and have to keep reminding myself it's not up to me in the first place! So .....God bless you for joining in the journey!!

Just as a reminder, our Bhutanese friends seem to get enough kitchen supplies like glasses, plates, etc when they arrive and we have lots of sets that have already been donated sitting in my garage and the annex. Cooking pots in good condition do seem to be needed sporadically. We no longer provide rice cookers, since they need to learn that rice can be cooked on the stove top. They can request rice cookers from their respective agencies, as it is an expectation of their resettlement via the UN agreement. Mike did a brief lesson on this last week but maybe we need to ask them to teach their neighbors. Most homes I visit that don't have a rice cooker still use pressure cookers, which seem to make the whole house steamy hot. (Tika's house was 90 degrees and steamy again Saturday night, though the a/c was running when I checked).

So bottom line, if anyone asks how to help, IMHO we need to focus on hygiene, as this will severely impede their assimilation and job search if it's not up to standard, and the kids will suffer at school if they are dirty.

We have about exhausted our store of children's clothes for the under 10 year old crowd (which means sizes up to 8), and definitely the under 5 crowd, boys and girls.

We need underwear in missy/juniors/small; and mens underwear in boys medium/large and men's small, medium.

There are now several LARGE bags of donations and several large boxes of donations waiting to be sorted. Carol, perhaps Kamala A. and Kalpana and her daughter/daughter in law would like to help?

I am working on a system ......I got myself in a jam by taking notes on one family, then got surrounded by many more wanting more. Yesterday the new idea that circulated like wild fire was locking metal boxes for their documents. I wondered if this was because of the fear of the fires (the camps often had huge very destructive fires and folks lost their documents as a result) or just an idea someone had and everyone else liked? We want to be fair, above all, and not overlook people like the quiet Chuwans when other people are more vocal and assertive to get what they want or need.

I realize this is old news to some, but we have new team members (yea!).

Thank you Stan for being available. Now our goal is to have each apt complex "car" captain call you when he and the last pick up is done, instead of calling Carla. You will then in turn call Carla when all complexes are complete, so she can STOP wondering if every one got picked up. I have already instructed Tara at the "Pines" and he has your cell # in his cell. All other drivers should have Stan's cell as their contact person to see where they are needed best. This should be one less item off of Carla, Helen & Elvern's plate.

I'm not sure what happened with the bus transportation today. Kamala & Kumar Das and at least onw group didn't get to Annex until 9:15A and a 3rd group arrived at 9:45A. I think Kamala Das said that one of the buses was late. Not sure what happened with the 9:45A group, nor which complex they came from. Stan it would be most helpful that you work with the Nepali transportation "bus" captain, the one that is designated to go on the bus, that they leave in one group and return in one group as much a possible.

Carla did a G R E A T job in explaining safety, 911 today....her flash card system was extremely helpful, she may not be an artist, but she got the message across very effectively.

Since this was my 1st visit in the annex class, I could see structure is (or has already been) starting to form. Anne and the Nepali women had the snack table set up and organized. Champa & Purna were on the job, by being at the snack table to help and assist.
The table for attendance and name tag was very helpful. Helen, that was the best idea for the day. To see the names was so helpful for so many of us that don't see the our friends on a regular basis like you and Carla. Awesome!!! Carol Brady and I kept a presence near the clothing distribution and never left it unattended, even when I was the only one in the Annex for 20 minutes, while Carla left to do the volunteer table, and Carol B hadn't come in from 1st hr worship. It is in the walking to the bathroom, or waiting in line for it that gets wandering eyes on the clothes. Carla helped with any distribution at the end of 2nd hr, which was working just great as they stood in line.

I left for my 2nd hr and missed Zach's worship and Barbara's teaching. How did that go?

I was truly blessed by a wonderful sight today. I had to go looking for Champa in 1st hr service, (not know she was in the nursery!) for her to return to the annex to interpret for Carla. The choir was singing, I sat own to scope the crowd. As I looked in the "normal" section of the church where our Nepali friends sit, I saw an elderly Nepali women, just gingerly clapping her hands to the music, with a sweet smile on her face. She was in a row by herself, with the exception of one American couple way at the other end. She was enjoying herself...she knew she wanted to be in that worship service instead of class. As we had discussed at our Wed night mtg, it should be their choice where to be during 1st hr, and that elder women spoke volumes to me today.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Teaching tools:

Judy asked for these websites, and I thought a few others might use them as well.

1) Many of our friends don't know how to write their names in english, especially quite a few of the women. This free worksheet maker allows you to type in anything and it will form it into a printable worksheet. One key is to have them start the lines on the yellow or bigger dots. That's important for future writing skills, I'm told.

2) The Dolch word list gives us the most commonly used words; flash cards can be made easily for those with some basic skills. There are progressive levels of difficulty. I think this would be a good project for some of the parents to cut and paste the words to make flash cards for their the Ram family, Tika's girls, Nepal family.

Also, just as an FYI, I learned that Hari Rizal's sister gets ASL tutoring once a week. We shared a special moment at the art museum when she was really drawn to a painting of a young boy who looked very sad. Krishna signed "boy" and I mimicked tears coming down my face, and she smiled and nodded and we put together the sentence about the sad boy together! It was cool. It exhausted my ASL knowledge but it was cool! She later went up to Sandy Boettger to show her the picture and signed to her about the sad boy. I need to let that teacher know she's making an impact!


Monday, May 11, 2009

from Mike Duell:

I was just at the library, and picked up a flyer for Free English Classes. For May 2009, Classes will be held at Burton Barr Central Library Mondays & Wednesdaysr from 5:30-7pm (May 18 - August 7).

Registration is Wednesday May 13 @ 5:30.

I know that some of the Camelback Apt Dwellers use Burton Barr for the Computers, so it is not out of the question to go there for classes.

Burton Barr has both Beginning and Intermediate classes. Registration is required, and classes are limitted to 25.

For more information, call 602-262-4636.

Thery are also classes at Acacia Library (Registration May 18 @5;30).
Family & Friends:

If you don't know already, here is a suggestion for a very good job search engine that searches all jobs posted on the internet, by national zip codes. searches all the other job engines You select the job alerts you would like to receive on a daily or weekly basis. They have preselected job catagories, or a specific company or industry you would like to work fo or you can make up a more specific one by typing in the words with your skills, or key words.

I was quite encourge to see what was really out there, that you don't see in the newspaper or hear about via word of mouth etc. You can establish as many as you need. I had 6: accounting, sales, interior design, senior care, and by a specific salary amount. You don't have to be laid off to start looking, it a good tool to understand what the current job markets are looking for and terminology of today's requirements, and it saves on gas.

Truly hope it can help someone

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Delivered 20 tickets to Jhana Adhikari at Woodbridge.....actually to his wife. Hari Rizal was there, which was so helpful to have interpreter services on hand! Gave them Emery's cell number but only one family there has a cell phone so contact may not happen. Emery agreed to swing by and check on any stragglers, and then to call me to see if he needs to be included in the Cback pickup.

I learned something this week to soften my "harsh" tone about people contracting for the internet when they don't have money to pay their bills........Hari lets his neighboros use his internet, so they are able to be in touch with their family members around world. It's quite a community service that he provides and is so appreciated by his neighbors. He is employed and has sufficient income but it did help me see a different side to the choice.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

We bought swimming suits for all except Kamala Acharya. Swimming suits just do not cover all essential flesh. I did not push it. Instead she got a pretty new Sunday dress with short sleeves and a fashionable black floral summer blouse. This shopping trip took many more hours than I expected. I am not sure if they had been to a Super Target. Every rack was interesting! The girls all got cute and conservative swim suits.

When we arrived at our pool, we heard many stories about swimming in the big river just outside of the camp.This is the same river that they did their laundry and took bathes. Sometimes the water was very dirty. The river mostly had fish and an occasional turtle or snake. They do not know how to swim even though they are very comfortable in the water. They will be anxious to swim again!!

We also learned about the three months before they left Bhutan. Tika was tortured and beat on his back while the soldiers demanded money from Kamala with a gun. She had no money to give them. This was a painful story for them to share. We also learned again about the soldiers chasing them through the forest while they trying to get to Nepal. Kamala was carrying baby Purna and there was no time to rest or available food or Purna.

Tika's mother called from Nepal tonight during dinner. It was a very emotional phone call due to the current conditions in the camp including terrorists and shootings. Tika's mother is 60 and father 75??. They might come to USA within the next year.

We are so blessed to have the opportunity to share our lives with this caring family.

Elvern and Helen

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I made a list and checked it twice.
Seems like everyone likes to eat rice.
If you don't see a familiar face,
Let me know and I'll add a space.
Even though we are limited to twenty,
in the end I think there will be plenty.

Okay, seriously, I've included those we've asked for and those who have attended regularly. There will be those who won't be able to come due to kids,jobs, or just don't want to, so there are extras listed. I'll wait til the end of the week to give out tickets and confirm the list face to face with our friends. We are targeting adults, out of high school, but certainly will take high schoolers if there are enough tickets.

Frankie wants to pick up at Woodbridge.
I can pick up at Thomas.
I am going to drive my van to the museum, as I can't be without a car in case there's an emergency at home, and if someone becomes ill or such, I can run them home as well.

Camelback Ladies:
1. Dhan Bhattarai B149
2. Ganga Bhattarai B149
3. Bahador Das, B120
4. Tulasa Das, B120 (could be either/or Kamala Das, depending on who stays home with the kids)
5. Tika Neopaney, B217
6. Indra Rai B2__?
7. Chandra Nepal, B218 (can't attend church due to work, but hubbie Tara is consistent and a leader)
8. Pabitra Basnet, A134
9. Champa Rai, B217 will serve as interpreter
10. Ganga Baral, A?? will serve as interpreter
11. Nandu Adhikari, B104 is likely working, but we'll try
12. Beda Basnet, B252
13. Sabitra Mishra, A152
14. Thali Kafley, B242, is likely working
15. Meena Kafley, B133 likely with kids
16. Chali Chuwan, B128
17. Batuli Sharma B219

18. Januka Pokhrei B50
19. Rati Gurung, B87
20. Indra Rizal, B17

21. Chandra Adhikari 252
22. Manu Dhungna 28
23. Gita Sapkota 114
24. Menuka Subedi 113
25. Rita Subedi 113

26. If extra ticket, Laxmi Basnet at CB 252. She's a high school student.
Does anyone have anymore contacts for furniture? We've met three families who have bare living rooms. All they have are card tables and folding chairs. also need toys, books, puzzles, etc.

Call me if you have a lead.....602-540-8456.

Had a GREAT visit with Rhaman Giri ? at Thomas. What a nice man and such incrediby good english skills. longer story but was great to meet him. Also met Yadu, young man who said he's a Christian, went to an apostolic church in Nepal, knows lots of Christians from around the US who went to Nepal on missions. Wants an english Bible and a Nepalese Bible and wants a picture of Jesus. I wish I could have recorded our conversations. It loses so much in translation but their desire to love God was evident. Rhaman talked about the Holy Spirit even! Rhaman has no living room furniture at all, bare tile floors, no tv. Have beds and card table, dishes, etc. His brother is in the same situation. gave him the changing table just to have a shelf in the house.