Thursday, October 14, 2010

insurance and immigration

Congratulations to me, I now have medical and dental insurance! I'm very thankful to have been in nearly perfect health for the 2 1/2 years I didn't have insurance. My appendix can burst anytime now!

I went to another arrival yesterday. It was family of our Bhutanese caseworker, Kumer. I learned how to say "Nice to meet you" in Bhutanese while we were waiting for them to get off the plane. I look forward to learning lots of phrases in a bunch of languages while I work at Lutheran Refugee Services.

This morning, I went to a forum on immigration reform, put on by this group in Omaha called "Omaha Together, One Community"...aka OTOC. It was inspirational, and now I'm all hopped up on justice for immigrants. Lucky for me, my job is working with people who are completely and totally legal in the USA. I don't have to battle that stigma of the "illegals". However, I find many people are incredibly ignorant regarding refugees. It is my quest in life to decrease that number. :0)

At the forum were two people from the church that is sponsoring the family that came on Tuesday: the pastor and a retired lady who chairs the missions team named Dee Maycock. Dee just might be my new hero in life. I'm not sure exactly how old she is, I'm guessing around 65 or so. She uses a walker, but moves pretty well with it. She is sharp as a tack and has bumper sticker promoting justice on the back of her car. So, after this meeting, the pastor, who is the silly, irreverent type, came over to Dee and put his arm around her shoulders and said, "I am eternally grateful to you for introducing me to the importance of justice to my faith." I was touched. Dee is the bomb.

At the forum today, I was reminded of the importance of immigrants to the identity of the USA. My own grandma grew up speaking Dutch at home and at church. Her family was nervous to put her in school because she knew no English. It was frequently mentioned today how funny it is that as each new wave of immigrants assimilates into the culture, they begin to vilify the next wave of immigrants as lazy, unwilling to assimilate, and a danger to their established way of life. This pattern repeats itself over and over in the history of our country, and it's unfortunate that people don't see that. It's unfortunate that the government believes that enforcement of laws is the way to deal with this massive and decisive issue, instead of immigration law reform.

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