“Eat pizza, hang out at Falls Park, text with friends, and take pictures of snow and ice-covered artwork at Downtown’s Sculpture Walk”. His answer (and the speedy production of accompanying photos of the sculptures on his phone) was so normal for a young adult living in Sioux Falls. When I asked Dillovan (name changed for safety reasons), “What do you do for fun in Sioux Falls?” I didn’t expect such a regular answer. After all, Dillovan’s path to Sioux Falls was anything but ordinary. Read the rest of this entry »
Most people agree that it is very important for children to read throughout the summer. Sometimes that is easier to say than it is to convince children to do. We’ve got some tips to help make it happen painlessly. Read the rest of this entry »
This is my last week here. I’ve worked at LSS Refugee & Immigration for the last 4 years, and it has been a beautiful thing. Grad school is summoning me east, but I will miss this office and the people who fill it.
I’ve learned so much while working with people from around the world . . .
I’ve learned that spicy is relative to one’s taste buds.
I’ve learned that racism is still alive and well, but so are people working actively against it.
I’ve learned to avoid the word “helping”—the only way to improve someone’s life is to realize that you need them too.
I’ve learned that persistence is not overrated—it’s vital to doing any good in this world.
When there’s no common language, I’ve learned that playing a rousing game of charades can be surprisingly effective in explaining yourself.
I’ve learned that hospitality is a spiritual act, right up there with prayer.
I’ve learned from the eyes and the scars of my friends that war is evil; it encompasses torture, home burnings, gang rape, starvation . . . and we should never idealize it.
I’ve learned that politicians can’t save the world, but they sure can help or hurt efforts to.
I’ve learned that the exporting of media largely filmed in balmy Hollywood, California gives people an extra shock when they first encounter snow.
I’ve learned that people can overcome their upbringing, even if they were raised in a refugee camp.
I’ve learned that people can overcome their upbringing, even if they were taught to love money.
I’ve learned that I can’t change everything, I can’t control everything, but I can stubbornly speak up for justice and peace.
I’ve learned that chai means more than a tasty drink—it also means friendship.
I’ve learned that the most courageous people in this world are refugees; I will miss these friends.
[Post by Amy S.Z.]
Cash, check, or card? Those used to be our three choices for payment. But these days, the choices do not end there. It can be overwhelming to remember the terms of every plastic card stuffed in our wallet. To make it a bit easier, here is a quick cheat sheet for cards you may already use, or cards you may come across in the future. Read the rest of this entry »