Saturday, January 23, 2016

Honada's family update: January 23, 2016

We have had a very busy week taking care of many details and there are many details yet to be taken care of! I know there are lots of people who want to spend time with Honada and her family and there will be opportunities very soon. I am currently working on a Google calendar, that I will send out to the team so that people can sign up as they are able.

Some highlights:

  • All of the kids are enrolled in school! We will begin gradual entry for school next week, so we are going to need lots of driving help, since they are still in West Vancouver and the school is in North Vancouver. Many of the details about exactly when each child will be in school and for how long still have to be worked out and we will need to see how they feel to judge day by day how much they can handle. 
  • Honada has been to the dentist for a terrible toothache and will need to have a root canal this coming week. No infection, so that is good news. Said also has a problem tooth that will be assessed this week. Many thanks to Lonsdale Dental who was able to fit them in on short notice. All of the family will need significant dental care, so we are searching for one or more dentists who will take them on. We do have dental coverage for them through the government, but we don't know the details of that yet! 
  • On Tuesday, the family was interviewed by the North Shore News. They were eager to say thank you to Canada and Canadians, so asked to do this interview! The article was not in the Sunday paper, so perhaps later this week?
  • A lovely team of folks has assembled backpacks, lunch kits, water bottles, school supplies and art materials for all three kids. They will receive them this evening.
  • Cynthia has worked out a very reasonable cell phone plan for the family with the helpful people at Rogers.
  • Blueridge Community Association has offered to stock the kitchen of their new home with all they need, and are working on including all the things Syrian people like to cook.
  • The fellows have all had a doctor visit, thanks to Dr. Shiv Grewal at the Travel Clinic in Lynn Valley. They will go back this coming Friday for follow up and referrals. Cynthia has been working very hard to figure out what we need to make sure their medical coverage is in place. It is supposed to be done for them when they arrive, but each office seems to give different information. Hopefully, we will have a medical number for them very soon.
  • The ladies will see a doctor this week and receive referrals to specialists. A big thank you to Dr. Nicola Walton-Knight who is able to fit them in.
  • A BIG thank you to our wonderful interpreters, Sawsan and Carol. We are now welcoming Karim, Nabil, Louma and Sumaia to our interpreting team. Thank you so much for offering to help! Of course, all of these wonderful people are busy, so we will try our best to work around their schedules and not wear anyone out! 
  • Sawsan, Cynthia and Carol have helped the family to get Library cards, Rec Center passes, begin to learn how to use the bus, learn to navigate Superstore and how to choose items when you have so many choices! Oh my, so many things to learn. A big thanks to our great team of drivers. 
  • Carol was also able to take the family to a lovely mosque we have in Norgate and introduce them to the friendly folks there. 
  • Next week we have, setting up bank accounts, working on busing skills, doctors and dentists, getting registered with North Shore Multicultural Society for adult English, and getting rain jackets (they have very heavy winter jackets issued in Toronto).
We are so lucky to have been selected to sponsor Honada and her family. While they have many needs, and have been through a terrible experience over many years, they are upbeat, forward thinking, positive people. They are eager to get to work to learn English, to find work, and to do everything they can to be independent. They are also extremely grateful for the support of our team and to Canada and Canadians for welcoming them here. 

Welcome Dinner will be on Sunday, January 24 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 5pm. This is a casual potluck where everyone can meet and welcome Honada, Said, Nour, Ahmad, and Ibrahim. Please bring your smiles and some food to share. NO PORK! We are also inviting some friends of our family who are also recently arrived refugees and now live in Burnaby. That family is a single mom with two lovely little girls. 

Shannon Muir
REST 

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