Saturday, April 20, 2019

McAllen April 2018 #6 stories you wonder about

Did that woman get her taxi? She had to be at the airport by 4 or 430 in the morning...we don't start our buseta runs that early so I helped her set it up. I only picture people sleeping on mats everywhere while she tries to make her way to the front door....

And what about the woman with family in Houston? They were going to drive down to pick her up and she wondered how late they could arrive. I was told it's a 6-7 hour drive. Did they come? How late? Did she finally get to stay with family that night or next day?

This one I know the end of. A mom and daughter arrived on an early bus and had been told the husband/son would be released the same day. So she waited....a few hours later, a new bus but no husband. A second bus, no husband. A third bus arrived--I was at the front desk when a young boy crowded past me, then approached the counter where his mom was on the other side. She saw him and shrieked with joy. The reunion was touching......

but it turns out that a woman I'd been working with for a couple of days had left kids home in Central America. The family reunion totally triggered her and she fell apart....we comforted her (no sub for having your kids with you) and sent her home. A happy/sad story, as are most of them.

notes on culture: our cultures are so deeply ingrained that we believe them to be the only cultures, the "right" cultures. We see other behaviors according to our own cultural filters. When we ask our refugees to line up and it looks more like a crowded circle, that's cultural. Why SHOULD they have the same ideas about standing in line that I do? When I ask them to move and they don't....havenn't they been ordered around enough? When do they get to be autonomous beings again? My personal space, like many Anglo Americans, is perhaps 10 or so inches....in much of Latin America it is much closer. I react by feeling crowded or trapped. But that's my filter. It's so important to keep in mind. My culture is not superior. Their culture is not superior. Our cultures are simply different and we need to learn to respect those differences without judging.


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