Our Refugee Women's Alliance End-of-Spring-Quarter Picnic

11 June 2002
Seward Park, Seattle


Armed with a dozen bus passes, I led the women from my Beginning English class to the bus stop.  I asked the bus driver to let us off as close as possible to Seward Park.  We took up the front half of the bus.  I had a boring lavender shirt on, while most of the women had beautiful colorful scarves.  Twenty minutes later, we were at the park.

We had lots of East African food, most of which is eaten by hand, or with a special flat bread ("injira").  We also had some "American food", like cookies, muffins, and pop.  After we ate, then we danced for the rest of the time, while the children either played on swings or played games that I brought (i.e., the African marble game, frisbee, bubbles), and Miriam brought puzzles and small toys for the kids.  Miriam is the other teacher; she's from Eritrea, but has been in American for over 20 years. 

I love teaching!  And I love being with the women!  Here are some pictures from today's picnic.  There's only about 1/3 of the class at the picnic, and unfortunately no pictures of Fanto.  (She'll probably yell at us during the Summer class for having the picnic without her...)   As for who is from where, the women dressed in bright headscarves (called "hijab") are from either Somalia or Ethiopia.  The African women with no headscarves are from Eritrea.  One woman is from Honduras, and one is from Vietnam.  I was the only one from America.  (I stood out in the crowd!)

After the picnic ended, the women declared me as "one of their own", because I had ate and danced with them.



Roqui, Qassam, Joaquina, and Safia swinging


Safia, Hawa, and Faduma at table
(Joaquina and Binh are in the background, Samiya is in the front)

Roqueya (with her face hidden), Miriam (the other teacher), and Nigist
(notice how we are eating with our hands, which is the traditional way)

Abet feeding Abdelrahman (10 mos. old)


Roqueya (with her face hidden again, she hates photos) and Maryem


Roqui and Safya playing


Qassam playing


Samiya (5 years old) and Roqui (4 years old)










Dancing to Tingrinia music


Believe it or not, the temperature was at least 70 degrees, and yet the women kept on their sweaters or jackets.  That's because 70 degrees, compared to African weather, is quite cold to them.




M. Kadenko, 11 June 02