Monday, February 22, 2016

Dinner with a Syrian family

This week we had very special guests for dinner. A few weeks ago, I had signed up for the welcome dinner project, where inhabitants of Nijmegen could have dinner together with people who currently stay at refugee camp Heumensoord. We got matched with this lovely family in the picture above. They have adorable two-years-old twins who we surprised with a box full of toys, which they accepted eagerly and which they went on playing with for the rest of the evening.

Mitchell and I picked them up at the camp to take them to Mitchell's place, where we prepared them dinner, and whereby Mitchell's housemate Lars was of great help. I choose to prepare them both rice and potatoes, a salad, some raw vegetables, and fish, as the meat had to be halal (prepared as prescribed by muslim law) and we were told that fish is always halal.

Even though communication was difficult because the family only knew a little bit English and a little bit Dutch, we got quite far by using Google translate :-) This way we got to learn some more about the family, as well as some Syrian words! So we ended up having a lovely evening, one that I will never forget.

As we took them back to the camp after dessert, we sang "head, shoulders, knees and toes" in the car with the kids, and I was very much hoping we could do something to get them out of that camp. Refugees have demonstrated against the camp as they view it as inhumane, with no privacy, too many people in one room, and diseases spreading like the plague. Unfortunately we do not know what we could do, neither how, except for having dinner with them that evening.

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