The Friday That Changed My Life

Decent Essays

The Monday that Changed my Life
When I sat down with Lal in my cubicle chair in the darkest corner of the office, little did I know that it was going to be one of my very first emotionally intense and empowering conversations of my career. Lal was my first refugee client at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian aid organization that resettles refugees, where I had started my internship in Public Health. My role as a Public Health Intern was to support and assist refugees to navigate the intricacies of healthcare and other social services system as they walked their road to self-sufficiency and assimilation into a new culture. It was Monday, and the Health Team had walk-in hours for individuals who needed assistance. I introduced myself to Lal with my biggest smile and greeting in Nepali: "Namaste."
As nervous as I was, I noticed that Lal was even more agitated. As a courtesy and with a hope to warm up the vibe, I offered Lal some tea, which he shyly accepted. As we both started sipping the fragrant hot lemon tea, Lal seemed more comfortable and smiled for the first time since he had met me that morning. I asked Lal, “How are you this morning?” Lal frantically replied, “exhausted.” Lal accidentally fell asleep and missed his bus stop. As an immigrant myself, I understood how scary it felt to get lost in an unfamiliar land with language barriers.
Lal escaped his birth country at the age of twelve, in the middle of the night with his mom, when his father

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