This post should be more aptly titled frustrating realities. Last Thursday was spent in Evanston at a recently rented four bedroom apartment. This wedensday an Iranian family of nine will be moving in. I had coordinated with the gas company serving the Evanston area and waited with the keys to the gas meter from 12-4 pm. Unfortunately the gas company never came.
While annoying these frustrations are the realities of coordinating and working with big companies. What is distressing is that in the near future the Iranian family is going have to deal with these frustrations. This is not to say that Refugeee’s have not dealt with frustration. On the contrary the processes of reaching the US is full of frustrating bureaucracy. In my mind what separates a frustration (like the gas company) from the frustrations of the past is the idea of perfection many refugees have about America. Sometimes there are unrealistic expectations that are built in some Refugee’s minds about America and how they see themselves re-setteling and living. Thus when things are distressing and frustrating in America it can be a huge disappointment and shock to refugees.
Our job is to help them navigate these frustrations during their first year of resettlement, but there’s a certain extent and length in which the organization can help. At some point they too will realize that while America has figured a lot out, frustrations are a reality across countries, class and ethnicity.