Some might find his driving lessons...unconventional. When Ezra* first lets a new student sit behind the wheel, he instructs them to accelerate quickly then slam on the brakes. Then he teaches them how to do “donuts” in the empty parking lot. But his methods are effective. He has already helped four internationals learn to drive.
The ones who do the best are those who listen to Ezra and follow his directions. Take Walid,* for example. Walid studied his drivers manual and listened as Ezra taught him the fundamentals during a few sessions of parking lot driving. Then, one cold and drizzly Sunday afternoon in the fall, Walid climbed behind the wheel, Ezra took the passenger seat, and two of Walid’s friends settled in the back seat. Walid drove through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and back through Townsend on small, country roads. They took their time, stopping to stretch their legs and enjoy the views along the way. Ezra had plenty of time to get to know Walid and his friends, encouraging them in their new lives here in Knoxville.
After Walid got his standard driver’s license, he went to truck driving school and got his CDL. Now he drives all over the country, seeing parts of our nation that most of us will never get to see!
So if you’re near Knoxville Towne Center some Sunday afternoon, and you see a nice car "laying rubber" in the empty parking lot, just stay out of the way. That’s Ezra teaching another international person how to drive.
*Names have been changed for privacy.
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.