Asylum Seeker Blog
From Cathy, January 9, 2021
A lot has happened since September. “R” moved into a studio apartment in December and was blessed with many housewarming gifts. He’s fixed it up nicely, including Honduran and Gay Pride flags as window coverings and feels a sense of contentment and pride when he returns home from work. His “abuela” and her dog Ruby miss him. He now drives a 1998 VW Beetle to work, which has needed some repairs and “R” has shown himself to be a competent mechanic in replacing bushings and diagnosing the site of an oil leak. Fortunately, it came with a set of winter tires which were put on after he experienced skidding on ice. He needs a lesson in winter driving! Scott (aka dad) and his friend Mike, who has a “hobby” garage, have assisted with repairs and Scott is looking forward to the end of them when he takes the car in for an alignment this week. “R” continues to work at Meals on Wheels and is a valued employee.
Unfortunately, the flooding from hurricanes Eta and Iota destroyed his mother’s home. BUUF and others were able to make some contributions to help his mom afford her medications and other necessities, but she has lost her livelihood which was raising chickens and rabbits.
“R” is so thankful for and feels loved by his BUUF family. He has created an item for our February fundraising auction in honor of Diana and Ruby.
From Cathy, “R’s” local “mom”, September 2020
“R” continues his English classes online. Last week he passed an English proficiency test and may be able to start classes for his GED this fall or winter. He also took a course and received a certificate in Food Safety Inspection from Create Common Good. From mid-July to the beginning of August he completed an internship with them, which paved the way to his first job! He cooks and helps to manage the kitchen full time for Meals on Wheels and is thrilled to be receiving a paycheck (much of which he sends to his Honduran family). “R” likes his job because he can be creative with some of the cooking and he is able to help people in need. According to “R” and Diana, along with some input from his boss, he creates a lively atmosphere at work, playing (and dancing to) his music, and is well-liked as he is so congenial, competent and hard-working. He had the kitchen organized the first week he started. “R” makes friends easily. He is a very kind-hearted young man and stops to help random strangers, doing things such as changing tires, fixing refrigerators. His efforts to enter the Asylum-seeking process have been delayed because of Covid. He is having fun! Meeting people. Hiking. Floating the river. Connecting with family and friends in Honduras. Dancing to Honduran music. Watching and making TikTok videos. Taking Ruby for walks. Exploring on his bike.
From “R’s” host Diana May 2020
“R” continues his English classes on at the Learning Lab/Main Library and has been riding his bike all over town by himself and with others on the committee. He takes Diana’s dog, Ruby, for long walks and was volunteering at Corpus Christi kitchen on Mondays. He checked in with ICE on his appointed day and all was well. He was settling back into his life when tragic news came from Honduras on March 13. His 9-year old son Mayckol, pronounced “Michael”, died suddenly from complications of a fever. As you might imagine, he is grief-stricken, sad and mourning and we are mourning with him. It seemed to help him when he enlarged two pictures of his son and daughter and hung them in his room. He has an angel and has made a small shrine for his child with flowers and all the cards he has received. He is in daily contact with his family and hopefully someday “R” can bring his daughter here when he finishes the asylum process.
People ask us what they can do to help and I would say, send cards and if you have time, take him for a bike ride or a walk to someplace that you enjoy. Our wonderful, generous congregation has supported “R” since he arrived in December and have often taken him to lunch or other activities. We are restricted with the corona virus so walks and bike rides are a better option now and he enjoys that.
From “R’s” host and new “abuela” Diana (February 2020)
R just signed up for English classes and was very excited to discover that his English is on the second level not the first of the learning scale. His legal sponsor gave him a used bike and he loves the freedom of riding to Ann Morrison Park or going to the Dollar Store. He is amazed at the Thrift Stores, there is no such thing in his country, and also about the gadgets in American home such as popcorn makers. He is a wonderful cook and enjoys sharing his love for Honduran food but is very open to trying other kinds of food. His first choice is to cook at home rather than eat out although he enjoys the socializing of a meal out with friends. He is very helpful, respectful and mostly, cheerful. Although grieving for his loved one and the loss of his homeland and family, he remains resilient, curious and hungry for knowledge about how to succeed in the USA. The legal process continues and hopefully will move along quicker soon. There is more music and joy in my house because of “R” and I am grateful every day.