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Image by: Jessica Partnow 

Starting Over at Sea-Tac

From: Seattle Globalist
Series: Refugees in Puget Sound
Length: 08:10

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New refugees have to juggle a lot. There's finding housing, getting kids enrolled in school; often there's learning English. And there's finding a job. Many refugees look to the airport — one of the state's largest employers — to find work.

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This series explores the lives of refugees in Puget Sound and the challenges that they face as they settle in to their new communities.

When new refugees arrive, they have a lot to juggle. There's finding housing, getting kids enrolled in school; often there's learning English. Then, there's finding a job.

Many refugees look to one of the state's largest employers, the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. In the second part of our series "Refugees in Puget Sound," reporter Jessica Partnow has this story about what it's like for new refugees trying to start over at Sea–Tac.

Piece Description

This series explores the lives of refugees in Puget Sound and the challenges that they face as they settle in to their new communities.

When new refugees arrive, they have a lot to juggle. There's finding housing, getting kids enrolled in school; often there's learning English. Then, there's finding a job.

Many refugees look to one of the state's largest employers, the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. In the second part of our series "Refugees in Puget Sound," reporter Jessica Partnow has this story about what it's like for new refugees trying to start over at Sea–Tac.

Broadcast History

Aired on KUOW January 2012.

Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

The Pokhrel family lives in a cozy apartment in the city of SeaTac. On a Saturday morning, mom, grandma and niece are all crowded into the tiny kitchen, grinding spices and producing delicious curry smells.

The father's name is Nandu. A dab of orange on his forehead shows he's said his prayers at the Hindu shrine in the corner of the living room. He's wearing a blinding–white shirt and creased black pants.

Nandu: "My name is Nandu, Nandu Pokhrel, and I am, uh, I am working in Safeway — Des Moines Safeway here — since 2009. I, I work as a courtesy clerk."

Before he was a courtesy clerk at the Des Moines Safeway, he was a public school teacher in Bhutan.

Nandu was born in Bhutan, but he's ethnically Nepali. He's Hindu, unlike Bhutan's majority Buddhist population.

Nandu and his family fled Bhutan in 1991. The government wouldn't allow Nepalis to practice their religion or...
Read the full transcript

Intro and Outro

INTRO:

When new refugees arrive, they have a lot to juggle. There's finding housing, getting kids enrolled in school; often there's learning English. Then, there's finding a job.

Many refugees look to one of the state's largest employers, the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. In the second part of our series "Refugees in Puget Sound," reporter Jessica Partnow has this story about what it's like for new refugees trying to start over at Sea–Tac.

OUTRO:

Jessica Partnow is a cofounder of the Common Language Project. In tomorrow’s segment, she talks to Iraqi refugees about their struggles with post-traumatic stress. Support for this series on refugees in the Seattle area comes from the Program Venture Fund. Contributors include Paul and Laurie Ahern (uh-HERN) and Puget Sound Energy.

Additional Credits

Jim Gates, Editor
Yug Dabadi, Interpreter
Sarah Stuteville, Assistant Producer

Related Website

http://clpmag.org/article.php?article=Refugees-in-Puget-Sound_00338