Refugees often go from “fire to fire:” displaced from their war-torn homes, stuck in dangerous refugee camps until they are resettled (very few), return home, or die. Coming to America, Canada, Australia, Norway, etc., leads to its own set of complications and dangers, as told here and it the book I will have to read.

break boundaries

Spirit Catches You

I have started reading the book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a story of a Hmong child and her encounters with the American medical system. As I read about the loyal social worker and her above and beyond commitment to Lia Lee’s family, I can’t help but think about my own experiences with a refugee.

For confidentiality reasons, I’ll call him Nadif, which means “between seasons” because in many ways, Nadif was always in a liminal stage. He escaped his war-torn country of Somalia through a sponsorship, along with his sister. Little is known about his mother and father — whenever I’ve asked him, he would go on a tangent about a blind man and suddenly start speaking both French and English.

Nadif was intelligent: he was trilingual (he spoke English, Somali, and French fluently), he had dreams of becoming a water engineer in Somalia and…

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