Volunteer success story: Miriam Eden

“I have enjoyed my time with the refugees because they are such amazing individuals. The repetition of English words might seem mundane to me, but they truly enjoy learning and are so grateful for my time. We shared customs and stories with each other and I was as intrigued to learn about their home countries as they were to learn about their new home.

We also shared and taught each other about different foods. At first they were very hesitant – but by the end of fall, everyone ate my homemade chocolate chip pumpkin cookies. And they shared their food with me, some of it very spicy, and a dessert that was sweeter than anything I had ever tasted. They taught me to eat the flowers of a squash plant and the new leaves of a pumpkin plant.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to take a group of refugees to Lucky Peak Lake. They saw people para-sailing, jet skiing, wind surfing and boating. They were intrigued that people do these things just for fun, and it made me realize how fortunate we are as a nation that we have the time and assets to be able to play on a beautiful day.

As the farming season wrapped up, we talked about what they would be doing next. Some of them had already found jobs, but the handful that remained were not sure of their future. I had a moment of doubt, wondering if we had let them down by offering them a country to live in, but not a sustained plan for them to earn a living. I asked them if they regretted coming to Boise. Their firm answer was "No…because here there is peace." Peace was something I took for granted; because of them, I value it much more.”

- Miriam Eden