Last Sunday, as we on the northern Great Plains were enjoying our 357th blizzard of the winter, Molly and I drove down to southern Fargo to oblige an invite from the First Sudanese Lutheran Church of Fargo, North Dakota. We went to chat with this recently-arrived growing group of New Americans. They put out a huge spread of Sudanese food, too, prepared by no less than 3 Sudanese mothers the night prior.
After the benefit supper, on the drive home, I couldn’t help but think about the processes of global population movements in world history. This invariably led me to think about our grandparents and great grandparents and great-great grandparents who poured into the United States in the 19th century: think today about navigating immigration (the New American Sudanese are here because they are getting away from a lot of this, and a cease-fire update on that here too), finding transportation, learning about car and health insurance, learning a new language, and getting up to speed with the societal customs inherent to America’s increasingly industrial society, all while trying to keep a foot in the old ways too (this is why today we see things like the Sons of Norway, German-Russian, and Three Crowns organizations).
Some of the New Americans expressed an interest in future home ownership, and the gears in my brain started moving: “Who might be able to chat with these folks about the processes and options of home loans and real estate?…” These folks have jobs and they want to continue raising families. Homes are important for going about this. I was so wrapped up in conversation and getting filled up with Sudanese food (the delicious Sambusas were flowing like wine) that I didn’t get a chance to take a photo. But I do have this handy 2013 year-end reflection that I picked up.