Tuesday, September 13, 2016
"Ali" has arrived!
We expected "Ali" to arrive in December and have been eagerly anticipating his arrival ever since. It turns out we read his paperwork wrong and his name is actually Bugare. Ali is his middle name. He doesn't mind being called either one. He is extremely happy and grateful to have finally made it to Canada. He told us that there was a communication problem between the Embassy and the UN and because he is blind and was all alone, he was not able to contact anyone. Finally, things have come together and Bugare Ali is here! We had a friendly welcome for him at the airport with two people who speak Swahili, Gulnar and Amyn. However, we also had Abdullah, who is from Somalia. He is the tall fellow next to Bugare. When he heard his own language from this lovely man, Bugare broke out in a huge smile.
Once we got him to North Vancouver, Bugare was eager to get into the shower and to say his prayers before eating any dinner. Through our interpreters, we learned that Bugare is a smart and determined young man who is very eager to move forward in his life. He really wants to see a doctor and a dentist to sort out tummy troubles, a back injury, and lack of dental care. Once that is taken care of, he wants to learn Braille so that he can read by himself. Bugare understands quite a lot of English, but he is shy to speak it. It seems as though he will catch on very quickly. We also discovered that he has an excellent sense of humour. Look out Canada, Bugare is here!
The man in the blue outfit is named Peter. He was hired to travel with Bugare from Kenya. He gets two days off to explore Vancouver and then returns to Nairobi. Thank you Peter! Another wonderful man who helped so much.
Here is a note from Wilna about Bugare's first day in Canada. Amyn is part of our team, a lovely man who speaks Swahili and stayed overnight for Bugare's first night.
A quick overview of our first day: Amyn gave Peter and Bugare breakfast (rotis and a dish from last night, which they gobbled up). Peter then told us some details regarding Bugare’s stomach. We thought it may be a good idea if he saw a doctor sooner rather than later. This meant poor Cynthia jumping on her bike during a spare at school, racing home to scan and photocopy all the supporting documents. I picked it up from her home. Lin phoned her doctor’s office to try and get him seen today. We couldn't get him in today, but will get him seen as soon as possible.
We decided to go to Dundarave, since it was lunch time and I thought I would treat all to a hamburger at the little kiosk. Alas, it was not open. I went to IGA and bought a picnic for us all. Bugare was incredibly excited about being near the sea, which he could smell and hear. So, after we’d eaten, we ventured onto the beach and put our feet in the water, Not surprisingly, both Africans thought the water was really, really cold. Then we showed them the German Friendship Globe and Bugare could put his hand on Somalia and on Vancouver - he loved it!