Mary Lee was still feeling ill last night, so I met with Jolet again. After discovering last week that she had some experience with the Bible, I decided it might be good to try and read through a simple story she would be familiar with. We spent most of the hour working through Noah and the flood. She did very well and it was definitely a help that she had read the same story before in Arabic.

I was surprised by how different the story seemed when I was forced to read it so slowly. Taking it one word at a time, stopping to consider each sentence, really brought out some of the details I would otherwise have skimmed over.

After we read through the story Jolet told me that she was applying for a job at a nursing home this week. She said it would be a good job but that it was sad for her to see older people pushed aside and neglected like that. I told her that I agreed and we talked a little about the difference between our attitude toward the elderly in America and that of the Sudanese. She didn’t understand how so many people in Sudan could be so violent and ruthless to each other, and yet still have more respect for their elders than we do here in America.

It’s a sad commentary on our culture that a woman who knows the hardships of living in a refugee camp and witnessing genocide first hand would be brought to tears by a visit to an American nursing home.