Sharon Jargba and Family
A Diary of our Refugee Family Sponsored by St. Luke’s
January 2, 2004
January 1, 2004
Happy New Year everyone!
Today, New Year's Day, Marie Thomas and her family hosted
the Jargba's at their house. Thanks, Marie and Brian!
shared with Marie some more about what happened to them in
's parents and a friend were killed by the rebels. The rebels would come to the
villages at night to destroy everything and kill the people.
's whole village near the mountains in
was burned down. Sharon and others escaped and traveled to the Peace Camp in
for 1 month. Comfort cried along the way and
carried Grace on her back. It is still very dangerous in
. Sharon has a sister in the refugee camp but does not know if her 2 brothers
are alive, and, as you know, has second-hand information that her husband is
somewhere in Liberia. Sharon and her family must have been through more than we
At the Thomas' house, Brian taught Roland and Comfort how
to ride bicycles. They had a nice meal, including a roast and rice. (Marie noted
that the children did not eat much, which is unusual. She had noticed that they
seemed to be eating a lot of candy at home. We should probably all encourage
to give them only small amounts).
After lunch, both families went on a hike at
. Grace really enjoyed walking on the trail! On their hike, they saw deer.
said they had deer in
- they hunted deer and ate dried deer meat.
was worried about her finances today. I told her everything is fine. We are
paying the rent this week. I went over her finances in detail. This is a summary
of the budget I wrote out for her:
Income: $725 per month
Expenses: Rent $545 (due at the beginning of the month);
Phone $25; Heat $70; Cash $85 for items not covered by food stamps, African
market, clothing. St. Luke's will be helping with items not covered by food
now really wants to go to work and earn her own money. Marie and I told her
that right now, she needs to learn English well and take care of Grace. I will
tell Genevieve at ERS about "Work Options for Women," which trains
women for jobs in the food service industry. In the meantime, Marie and I
thought maybe she could do occasion housekeeping jobs for us at St. Luke's to
get some extra spending money. We are also hoping that if
gets into affordable housing in Arapahoe (or Adams) county with some other
(in about 6 months), she can get help with child care while she works.
Today Marie went over child safety with
, particularly about leaving the children alone and the danger of kidnapping.
She also put the thermostat down to a little above 60 degrees and advised
to keep it between 60 and 70 degrees to keep the heating bill down.
has enough household stuff and clothes for now. I am not bringing over any new
donations right now. Anyone who visits the family should check the supplies of
milk, OJ, bread, fruit, toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex and soap and ask
if there is anything she needs. However, it appears that some of the children
are expecting something new every time we are with them!
On Tuesday, December 30, Jan, Marie and I met to talk about
teaching Sharon English and other logistics.
We will start regular English lessons for
every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is in lieu of the English classes that
refugees normally go to in downtown
because of difficulty finding childcare for Grace.
Monday will be with Marie and Laurie (Gilbert) and
Wednesday with Jan. Friday will be with either Betsy or other volunteers, such
as Caroline Merchant. We can consider teaching an additional day if we
would not be preventing
from developing more independence (kind of a Catch-22).
Jan talked with an ESL teacher, who recommended starting
with Rebus sentences, which are very simple sentences that incorporate labeled
pictures in them. Examples: I see a tree; I see an apple. We should use words in
categories such as food, number words (1-10), colors, clothing, household items,
family members. Jan will teach the children how to call 911.
When people go over to teach English, if occasionally they
have time to take
somewhere to run an errand or just get out of the house it would be good.
needs to get out.
This Sunday, the 4th, we will be passing out fliers at
church to solicit volunteers to sign up to supply
with items not covered by food stamps, such as diapers. We will have a poster
where people can sign up for an item for 1 or more months. We will also have a
jar for monetary donations and grocery certificates. We worked out with Bonnie
where the money will be stored. Jan will talk with Tammy Heister about a Jargba
account for depositing donated checks.
On Monday, January 5, Jan and Charlie will take the
children to visit their new school, Whiteman. In the afternoon, we will take the
family to their first doctor's appointment. Tuesday, Jan. 6 will be their first
day of school. Jan Rufien, Jan Stull and Judy and Bill Dearsaugh will be helping
take the children to the busstop and pick them up - Tuesday through Thursday.
If you would like to help out on Friday, please let me or Jan Rufien know.
really wants to come to church. Betsy will ask Amy Holton of the UMW if the UMW
can help with rides. Also, we will look into whether there is a
that would like to help us.
would like non-cartoon videos.
*Jan will be out of town January 16-February 3. She will
ask her daughter if she could cover for her on Wednesdays.
*Marie will be out of town February 18-March 17.
*Jan will ask Mohammed if he could press the apartment
manager about getting
her mailbox key. If the Social Security card does not come next week, I will
need to take
back to the
office to look into it. We need to track down
's Medicaid card, too.
recently asked if there is anything we can do to find out if her brothers are
alive. One brother's name is Julian Jargba. I left a message with Gordana at ERS
to see if there is anything we can do.
Lots more news coming - Jan is visiting tomorrow (Friday),
the family is coming to church on Sunday and next week will be exciting!
Today Jan, Charlie, daughter and grandchildren walked with
Sharon and family to the local park,
at 12th and Verbena. The kids all had a great time on the playground
equipment! Afterward they went to lunch at McDonalds.
Jan tried to pay the rent with a check from my new account,
but the manager would not take a check without the name printed on it. (I only
have starter checks). So we need to get a money order. Still no progress on the
mailbox key. Jan and I are learning so much about the hassles people have to go
through to get through life in this country!