Thursday, March 17, 2011

precious moments

Today was one of those no-time-for-lunch days. I was on the run nonstop from 8:30am until 6pm. I have on adorable memory from today, though. I had just gone to Family Dollar to pick up 3 carts of items for a family arriving tomorrow. I was going to drop them off at the apartment where my coworker was setting up for them. The plan was that his Karenni volunteer would help me unload the car and then I would head back to the office to meet a volunteer for training. After I pulled up and after I hopped out to wait to see which duplex I was going into, a little Bhutanese girl appeared out of nowhere, hopped in the drivers seat of my car and pretended she was driving. She pushed all the buttons, flipped all the switches, and put on my sunglasses, grinning all the way. Then the Karenni guy came out and I flagged him down. He is probably the biggest, burliest Karenni guy in the world. He's close to six feet tall with salt and pepper hair and a lazy eye. He speaks maybe a handful of English words. While opening the back door, the little Bhutanese girl squirreled her way in and grabbed a blanket and waited to see where to go with it. The three of us unloaded my car in two trips. It was one of those simple, honest moments where the world crashes together and it seems that different people working together can do anything.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

good to be human...

Today was one of those days that makes me glad I'm human.

I was in the office for about an hour and a half before I had to leave to help arrange things for a family coming on Friday. I rushed back to the office at 10:45 to print directions to a speaking engagement at an insurance company, scheduled to start at 11:30pm. Kumar was coming with me. I followed the map right to a dead end. Luckily, Thein Soe called me right then from the office. I had him put my password into the computer and look up the phone number for the woman I was in contact with at the company. I called her and got directions to the place. Kumar was following me as I recklessly drove all over trying to find the building. We made it about 10 minutes late, but the presentation went well. I spoke about the refugee process and refugees from Burma, and Kumar talked about why refugees are coming from Bhutan. He was amazing! He had an outline prepared, covering all the most important details of Bhutanese history to help the audience understand the truth of the situation that caused 108,000 people to end up in refugee camps in Nepal. The 12 or so people in attendance were gasping and on the verge of tears as he told them about seeing his cousin be hanged, his uncle tossed into the river, and a classmate raped to death, her body returned to the school. Afterward, the reaction was uplifting. Everyone had been so attentive, respectful, asking questions about how they could help, and how they could improve their services for the refugees. One woman gushed about how amazed she was at Kumar's calmness after he had seen such horrible things. She gushed about how amazing refugees were. She spouted great, self- and culturally- aware thoughts that made me proud to do what I do for part of my job: teach people about refugees. All these medical administrators were remarkably kind, caring and compassionate. I love to see this kind of reaction from people. It shows that they have big hearts. These are the types of reaction that I see from people whose perspective has been broadened. It's a gift. And oh yeah, they bought us Jimmy Johns.

On top of that, it was a beautiful day. 70 degrees and sunny. I sat outside and read my book while the guy worked on my muffler. It was fast service, but I wish it had been cheaper.

I got home, checked my work email, and then went for a 2.75 mile jog through Waverly in the sunshine (pretty good for me) while listening to Adele's newest album.

Then Kurt came over. We went to Lovegrove's (the local grocery store) and bought food to make steak fajitas. It was a messy endeavor, but it was very, very tasty. Once all the pots and plates were cleaned up, it was 8pm and we watched King of the Hill and an episode of Seinfeld.

The day was satisfying on many levels. I got work done at the office, witnessed people's hearts grow bigger for a just cause, get my car fixed, exercised, cooked a healthy meal, and relaxed with a loved one. It's good to be human some days.