During our Coalition meetings, we often share with each other stories of encounters that we have experienced in Aberdeen with people from another background than ours. Here is a story about an unexpected interaction with a neighbor, as recounted to one of our members.
"It was the first day in our home in Aberdeen. I had moved here with my large family and my sister. We are refugees from Somalia. Before moving to Aberdeen, we lived in Minnesota.
We had been in the home for a few hours when there was a knock at the door.
I looked out a window to see a man standing there. I could only see his face. I knew he could see me, too.
I picked up my cell to phone my daughter who was upstairs.
“What should I do? Should I call the police?”
I could see the man was also speaking into his cell phone.
“What should I do?”
The man punched numbers to make another call.
My daughter told me to open the door. Her English is much better than mine. Together we opened the door.
This man was our neighbor. He had brought us a gift of fresh fish on a stringer. With my daughter’s help, we learned from one another. I was afraid when I saw him on his cell phone.
I was using mine to call for help.
The neighbor, seeing more and more kids through the window, was using his phone to call his friends. “BRING MORE FISH.”
As told to Sheila Richards. Re-told with permission.