They walked through the door wet and a bit bewildered. Finding the house I had written on a piece of scrap paper for them last Saturday had proved more difficult than they originally anticipated. Yet walking in the front door, they were welcomed with great enthusiasm by yours truly from across the room and their faces relaxed.
I led them through the living room where children were underfoot building a Somali-style house out of a toy building set or coloring sheets with Miss Theresa. A few more steps brought us past the dining room table with Bob and Lisa surrounded by 10 individuals from Darfur (Sudan), Eritrea, Ethiopia and Congo writing their names on the whiteboard to do introductions. We scooted into the kitchen where Sue and Glen coached excited elementary age kids in cooking an ethnic dish for our dinner.
Continuing along the way, the remaining nooks had a volunteer surrounded by several middle school and high school students working hard on various homework. The small office had the Burmese family who lives across the street learning English at an unbelievable speed. At the very end of the hall, I opened the door up to their classroom – my bedroom.
With their English still at the early beginner stage, I found it pretty challenging to explain why English group was in a bedroom. They situated themselves amongst the crowded room of other Nepalis and some “teachers” as they walked through the alphabet. The more advanced English speaker and long time Hopeprint family member Somaya held the white board and wrote the letters, beaming with pride to be the assistant teacher.
As I snaked my way through the crew bursting at the seams of the house, I couldn’t help but smile and shake my head. Our bedrooms have doubled as meeting rooms almost since we began, yet the slight comedy of it doesn’t wear off. I guess that’s just part of what makes us who we are – every part of our lives and our home welcoming and embracing the community.