We were honored to celebrate World Refugee Day a couple of weeks ago. RLP, along with The PLACE, Amarillo Police Department, Amarillo Symphony, Catholic Charities, RST, and many other groups came out to Eastridge to join in the festivities honoring Amarillo’s numerous refugee communities. There were singing groups, dancers, face painting, horse riding, soccer, bouncy houses and more!
Ryan also had the opportunity to interview Samuel and Mohammed, two of our employees (pictured below). We heard short clips of their own stories, how they preserve their cultural heritage, and what dreams they have for the future. It was wonderful to see old friends and new, and to celebrate those who now call Amarillo home.
Near the end of the event, we remembered to pull some wooden stilts out, knowing they are a common sight in several cultures. Most of the people had already gone home, and efforts to clean up and pack up were well under way. We thought the moment had passed. But then we spent the next hour laughing with Lao, Karen, Afghan, and American friends as we fell off sticks one after the other. With tears in his eyes, one Lao man said to Ryan, “It’s been 50 years since I walked on these. This brings me back to what it was like when I was a child in Laos.” It was a memorable end to the day for everyone!