Reporter's Diary - One Year in the USA

This is an excerpt from a news article posted today on 13 April 2009 by the editor of the Association of Press Freedom Activists (APFA) – Bhutan. It is an organization in exile established to work for a freedom of press and freedom of speech and expression in Bhutan.

The article was published on April 13, 2009. Here is the link to the entire article: http://www.apfanews.com/opinion/reporter%e2%80%99s-diary-one-year-in-the-usa/

Reporter's Diary - One Year in the USA
By Kazi Gautam

When I reached office of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), a wing of US CCB, one of the receiving agencies in Syracuse, New York (where I now live), I was thrilled to see the hall full of people. I mean the resettled Bhutanese.
There was a meeting to plan for establishing a community center. The Bhutanese community in Syracuse has been planning for a community center to carry out their own activities.
They wish to organize their own ESL classes, have Bhutanese Community meetings bi weekly to welcome the new arrivals, plan for the future programs, explore the ways to preserve cultural identity, and perform and plan for religious, social and cultural activities. These are just some of the things to be carried out in the Bhutanese community center.

It takes me by surprise when I think that I have passed eleven months in Syracuse after getting resettled here. There was the time when one could only see a few resettled Bhutanese in the area. However, the story has a different aspect after 11 months when Syracuse alone has over 300 Bhutanese - about the same number as Vermont. Syracuse is a city of more than 200,000 citizens. It is located about 5 hours from Burlington, Vermont.
When Hari Bangaley, my case manager received my wife and me in the airport, I felt the warmth of the Nepali heart and his smile and greeting erased my tiredness then. However, these days the new comers are greeted by not less that five people. The Syracuse streets are usually covered by the Bhutanese people. Some are found walking to the groceries and some are walking to hospitals. Many of them are encountered on their ways to ESL classes. Some are seen walking to the Madina Halal, one of the three places where a goat meat is sold.

A gathering of Bhutanese. Photo: Kazi Gautam/APFAnews

These days I see many people have been struggling to get employed. The educated people fill application online and visit employers in person while others have to rely on their job developers. Incredibly true, around twenty Bhutanese got employed in March which has eased the pain of both the exiled Bhutanese and the receiving agencies. I still remember those days ........................... Click here to read the remainder of this article >>> http://www.apfanews.com/opinion/reporter%E2%80%99s-diary-one-year-in-the-usa/