Here are some pictures of the Maung Say family. The first two are from the arrivals. In the first picture are the mother Say La Paw, the father Maung Say, and the 17-year old daughter May Paw. The 14-year old is not pictured. There is also a wheel chair attendant on the left. Several people have asked me who he was so I tell you so you know he just works at the airport.
After the first family assigned to us didn't get to the make the trip at all, and the second family had a mechanical problem with the plane that delayed them leaving Thailand we were starting to wonder if we would get to meet a new family. But on Friday, 5/20/11, the new family completed their trip from Thailand to Japan to LA and then arrived in Phoenix a few minutes early! Yea! Alycia, Cheryl, Kate and I were there to greet them, and Alycia had the great idea to bring them flowers. The mom was temporarily in a wheel chair but hopefully medical assistance here will help her leg heal and she will be able to walk without much difficulty. The family came with two bags and three backpacks. I was filled with awe and sadness that all of one's life could be in such small containers.
After a tour of their home by the case manager, Win, we served the family a meal and then left them to rest up. They got to rest all Saturday and I think they were resting when I arrived Sunday at 1:00 p.m. But they perked up and we were having a nice visit. I took a picture of all of them so we have the 14-year old Than Paw in the picture now. She's on the right in the complete family photo.
The family came from Mae La camp, as have all the families we have helped. They were able to bring some family photos and showed them to me. It's nice they have such memories and that they had family in the camp too. I wasn't able to find out yet if the other members were still in the camp.
The family does speak a little English and knows the alphabet and how to say some words. They may even know a little more than they let on! They asked me how to use the microwave and what the red stuff in the bottle in the refrigerator was (vegetable juice). From that I found out they wanted some chilies so since we couldn't find any I took Maung Say and May Paw to Fry's. Getting them to understand I needed them to come with me took about 5 minutes of repeating myself, using hand gestures and pointing to my shoes and their feet but eventually we got it together and now those two are well aware how to put seat belts on too! The father felt bad telling me he had no money but I told him I knew, he would have some soon and I would buy the peppers this time. Thinking back, it was still easier than the time I was trying to find fish paste a few years ago!
I had a great visit with them and look forward to my next visit. They are delightful. They hope they can come to our church sometime so that is something that will hopefully be done this summer.