Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Volunteering with Refugees

 March 2003

Worked with the Sudanese mothers, each with four children, one a mother of a twenty year old and a grandmother of a four year old.  Our conversation was full of good humor, women from two different culture learning together while living in a third one.  The baby Becki was so very good. I was amazed.  Her mom held her and when she was fussy, let me hold her for a bit, and then nursed her until Becki went off to sleep. 
We continued with the lessons about women in the work place, about words that were easy and hard to define.  Serfina has not had much schooling and has more trouble reading.  Becki’s mother has a husband doing post graduate work here in Brisbane and is far better academically trained.
 When the word ‘skip’ came up.  I stepped out into the hall to show them the meaning of  ‘to skip’. They quickly understood how the word could mean skip payments or skip lessons.
Being playful seems the best way to teach.  Serfina was willing to work at reading.  She called herself lazy, but actually she is a busy mom and not lazy at all.  

We spoke about what their goals were after the children grew up and left home.  Serfina had no particular goals, but Becki’s mom said she had some interests which she would like to pursue.  We spoke of mom’s needing to be home with babies while they were young.