The back of FBC Concord’s 18-passenger van was loaded down with framed prints, floor rugs, linens, kitchen utensils, pottery, even a small statue. On a rainy November afternoon, all the talking fogged up the windows, too, providing a great “whiteboard” for an Arabic lesson.
That’s what happens when six Arab women (and two children) join four American women for a trip to the Great Smokies Flea Market!
Sherry moved to Knoxville in time to attend two sessions of an English class before Christmas a couple of years ago. She spoke English at what our lead ESL teacher calls “the blink-blink stage,” meaning she could say little beyond “hello.” But she persevered.
Esther’s kids walked six blocks to and from school every day. It was less than a mile each way. As a child back in Africa, Esther and her siblings had walked much further without giving it a second thought. There were homes along the way, so Esther never imagined her kids were unsafe.
Yasmin was upset. She handed her quarterly inspection report to our culture coach, wondering why she was on the verge of being evicted. It said “uncleanliness,” but she kept her house clean and tidy. Our culture coach went to her apartment and found everything else clean, but the two bathrooms covered with mold and mildew.
Mold and mildew don’t grow in the dessert. It’s too dry. But here in East Tennessee, they can grow in a couple of days--just one of the thousands of things to which many immigrants and refugees must adjust!
Read the stories of Knoxville's local internationals and the volunteers who have impacted their lives. Get a first-hand view of what it's like to move here and/or to serve those who've moved here from other countries. Discover how KIN has impacted life and culture in metro Knoxville.