Of the several things I do in my retirement, probably one of the most satisfying and most challenging things is the transportation of refugees sponsored by USCRI to their medical appointments. So, let me tell you about my first time I took a family to Clinic E.
The father spoke some English and mostly Persian (read Iranian). I picked up the family and got them into my car, and (thank goodness for GPS) found my way to Clinic E (Public Health Department, 10 Sunnybrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27610). I stopped the car at the entrance and the family got out of the car. I was not sure of the facility destination and I asked/told them to wait there on the sidewalk. And I went into the complex building with multiple floors, stairs, elevators and Clinics.
Up a flight of stairs, I finally found Clinic F, which kind of looks like E with the bottom cut off, but when I went inside I was told that E was the next one over. I went to the corner and I located Clinic E!
I went back down the stairs and outside to the awaiting family. I said to the father,
“Clinic E is in the corner of the second floor.”
He stared at me in an incredulous fashion, his family behind him, and said,
“You’re not going with us?”
It was then that a really realized how foreign our country was to these foreign individuals. How much we take for granted. How much we know that we don’t really know that we know. And how much we do not know.
“Let me park the car, and we’ll go in,” I said. I parked the car and then led the family up the stairs to Clinic E and sat for a while and waited for them (like 3 hours, luckily I had a book to read) and drove them home. The father thanked me profusely, and I was humbled profusely.
I now park the car and take people up to Clinic E. I know where it is, and I know a little more about myself.
For the Immigrant and Refugee Ministry Team