This week has been jam packed full of activities and responsibilities. After the Columbus Foundation learning session, I went to my first WIC appointment at their clinic/office on Indianola close to Morse Rd. WIC stands for Women Infants and Children and is a supplemental nutrition program for mothers and families who are low income and need additional support to feed their infants or younger children with good, nutritional food. I went with two young Iraqi mothers and their three little children to register for the WIC coupons. The nurses weighed the children, measured their heights and tested their blood for healthy iron levels. Afterwords, we went to Meijer in Dublin and picked out their WIC approved foods for the month of July. The process was… challenging mostly because I forgot to bring in the booklet that had all of the WIC approved items in it and so unless they explicitly said “WIC approved” it was guess and check with multiple runs from the register back to the merchandise to find the right food items.
On Wednesday I conducted a one person cultural orientation for an Iranian client along with fellow coworker Parisa who speaks Persian/Farsi. Yalda Moghaddem resettled in Columbus after fleeing Iran with her 7 year old son to Turkey due to religious persecution. She is a Baha’i and Parisa told me there is a growing community of Iranian Baha’i in Columbus (they even have a cultural/religious center on Sunbury Road!). The orientation was extremely informal, I brought my laptop to her brother’s house where she is staying and we drank tea and ate chocolate sweets while I, via Parisa’s translations, explained American culture. Yalda is very humble and is ready to start working so she can support her son, but said she wanted to get back to her old career if possible. She had a Master’s in Biology and worked in a biomedical engineering lab before leaving Iran, (talk about credentials!). I explained to her that the process of getting her Iranian degree accredited in the US takes a long time, but she didn’t seem to mind as long as she could work and live in peace with her son. I continue to meet amazing people with incredible life stories and am sad to know I only have 1 week left to work with CRIS’s resettlement staff!