It has been a long time since I posted here – my apologies. Life has been very full with Rotary, Friendship Force International, visitors from Switzerland and Michigan, and our Syrian family.
Chady, Zeinab, and the children are doing well. The boys, Hamza and Yousef are in school: Grade 4 and 1. They are progressing very well and will be speaking English by Christmas. Sara and Sadil are enjoying daycare while Mom and Dad take ESL classes.
ESL classes are a challenge for the parents who have been out of school for a long time. Chady attends class from nine to three every day and Zeinab nine to noon. I try to get out to help with homework but the distance is a bit of a problem and when I get there, there are always lots of other little things that need to be taken care of.
Over the past week we have been out shopping for fall and winter clothing. We visited New Circles; an agency that offers “gently loved clothing” and we spent this afternoon at Costco getting warm coats, mitts, and essentials for the coming winter. Both the parents and the boys have a distance to walk to school and we want to make sure they will be warm.
We have worked hard over the past couple of months to introduce them to the city but it has been difficult because two cars are needed to take the family anywhere. We have set them up with Presto Cards and tokens and have traveled on TTC with them in an effort to help them become more comfortable taking a bus. I can only imagine how intimidating it can be when you don’t have enough of the language to ask directions or questions.
We took them to a picnic sponsored by the Arab Community Center in Centennial Park in August with the help of Margaret and Ramon and just before school started Gill and Andre took the boys to Canada’s Wonderland– a very exciting trip. Melad and Azza, have continued to help with translations and support and we thank them very much for that.
I will be hosting a social evening here in the party room of my condo building some time before Christmas and look forward introducing them to their supporters. I have been waiting for the family to become a little less overwhelmed by all of this before putting them into an uncomfortable situation. Lloyd and I have guests from Belgium arriving in October so it will have to wait until our guests leave.
I would like to thank all of you again for all of your support and for your patience with my lack of communication.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, comments, or suggestions. I can alway use your support.