from a day trip to the coast
My friend and former coworker, Eugene, recently completed his degree in public health administration at Concordia University. Eugene was studying health administration at university and worked in a clinic in Bukavu, DRC, until he was shot by rebels. His wife, Bahati, received news that he'd died and subsequently resettled in the U.S. Eugene survived, but it was more than a decade before he was reunited with Bahati in Oregon. I was honored to meet his family and to document his graduation day, which was not only a formal recognition of educational achievements, but also a celebration of perseverance and resilience.
A, R, AM, and M are the latest participants in my project. They shared their resettlement story with me and even treated me to delicious homemade basbousa. The session was a lot of fun -- like meeting up with old friends -- and it was a privilege to learn about their journey to the U.S., their successes and challenges in Portland, and their hopes for the future.
I was so excited to attend this grand opening celebration at the new Portland Mercado. A project of Hacienda CDC and a variety of community partners, it's the first Latino public market in Portland. The market space is beautiful, inviting, and the new highlight of the area. The celebration was a joyous event featuring musicians and dancers, and I especially enjoyed having the chance to meet several of the business owners who have worked so hard to participate in the Mercado. I'm looking forward to returning often to support these local businesses.
I was in Connecticut for a few days to celebrate my dad's birthday. Early spring is a nice time to be in New England (autumn is the best time, of course). These images are from my walk in Northwest Park in Windsor. I was excited to see the maple sap already flowing despite the cold temperatures. Sugar maples don't grow in the Pacific Northwest, so maple sugaring season is something I miss in Portland.
walking and bird-watching on a cloudy day
I was honored to attend my friend P.'s daughter's birthday party last weekend. I knew many of the guests from my nonprofit job and previous events involving resettled refugees from Myanmar. It was great to see several former students and to meet their families. The party included a blessing ceremony and singing, games and a piñata for the children, a wonderful buffet of southeast Asian dishes, and a huge Frozen-themed cake. It was a fun day.