OT: How to be a refugee

After living with our Ukrainian family for 3 weeks, they continue to amaze us with their courage, optimism, kindness, and generosity. They are a model for anyone displaced against their will.

As a bit of background, in Ukraine, they are quite wealthy. They live in a beautiful modern house, they own a restaurant, a vacation resort, and several rental properties. Yes, they hate Putin and think what Russia is doing is a crime. Yet, they recognize they have no control over it and have almost immediately set about doing what they can under the circumstances.

  • Nearly every day since they arrived, they go to the refugee center and volunteer to help other refugees.
  • Through the help of the Luxembourg government, they set up a local bank account and phone contract to become self-sufficient
  • They found their own place to live (through the generosity of a local businessman) so they no longer have to share our guest room (they move out of our house on Monday).
  • The mother found a job cleaning hotel rooms–she came home yesterday saying it was a “fantastic” day because she got a job. In Ukraine, she was accustomed to wearing designer clothes and driving a Mercedes.
  • The father is looking for any job he can get–washing dishes, manual labor, whatever he can find with his limited English capability.
  • The daughters will be starting school very soon

They constantly look at the positive–a chance to learn English and French, for their daughters to go to local schools, for them to work and meet new people.

They want to go home, but they recognize it might not be possible for a long time or perhaps forever. So, they are already on their way to starting over if that is what is required.

Their optimism about any outcome is inspirational.