Arriving from the Refugee Camp in Thailand

Arriving from the Refugee Camp in Thailand
The Mying Mying family

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday, December 27

Dianne and Bob returned to the Lam's apartment on Wednesday evening for a follow-up visit.

NoSa very graciously brought them 2 cans of juice and a platter full of bananas, serving them on a little table that he set before them by the sofa.

He broke their hearts when he brought out his phrase book and earnestly and repeatedly pointed to the phrase "I need a good job." Interestingly it was right next to the phrase that said "I need a good paying job," but that was not the one he selected.

NoSa's Malaysian friend earnestly and patiently tried to explain to them that NoSa does not make enough money to pay the rent, while his Malaysian friend is just fine, as he is single, lives with 2 other men, so his share of the rent is just $200+. Dianne was shocked when they brought her 2 paystubs that showed NoSa worked only 20+ hours one week and 30+ hours another week. Not only does he make just $7/hour, he's not even working 40 hours/week - not even close. NoSa is very concerned about his ability to pay the rent - and probably also to pay for food and to pay back their transportation debt for coming here. This must weigh on him, because it's clearly a request that he's made to both Jill and Dianne. Dianne told him that we are praying for him and talking to people about his job need. She also tried to emphasize the importance of practicing English: "good English, good job."

Here are some other observations that Dianne made as they visited with the Lam's extended family:

It seems that men and women don't share the same sofa. And they certainly defer to men. They immediately offer the sofa to Bob, Dianne is clearly secondary. When the Malaysian friend came in, ZarZar's mother quickly got up and gave him her seat on the sofa and she stood, though there was plenty of room for them both to sit without touching. Then she sat down on the white plastic bench in a very cozy arrangement with ZarZar and the little girls.

Dianne and Bob have a brand new ink jet printer that they're not using and will bring to the Lams. Our desire is to get them anything that will facilitate their English. She wonders if the printer wouldn't be more useful in apt 328, given that there are 3 children in school in that apartment, but since they (and their possessions) travel freely back and forth, it will get used wherever it's needed the most.

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