Learning About Burma with Children

We recently took in a family of refugees from Burma into our second home.

I met them today for the first time. It was actually a pretty amazing experience.

I had to make a minor repair at the house and their case worker could not meet me at the house. I went over anyway, not even thinking that, duh, they don't speak English. Not only that I had my two little kids with me who are very energetic to say the least.

The youngest member of the family and C1 teaching her how to bounce on the couch (bad C1)

They have been in this country for a little less than a week so they only new about three words (caseworker,  thank you, and poster).  It was a new experience for me.

So the funny and amazing part of the story is the kids. Kids are incredible beings to begin with so I should not have been suprized when C1 who is almost four and C2 who is almost two took to the children ages 11,9,7,5, and one as if they were longtime playgroup playmates. They couldn't understand each other, but they understood that they liked to bounce around all over the house and build with legos.

It makes sense if you think about it. My son is not all that big on speaking and when he does I am the only one in the house who seems to understand him (mommies are way cool like that) so why wouldn't playing with five kids who don't speak the language seem weird to C1? 

Kids deal with other kids all the time who they don't understand, but the universal desire to play just trumps it all. It was a pretty interesting and amazing experience. Language barriers simply do not exist for three year olds.

I was lost on how to communicate with the new family and just kind of went into American Sign Language mode, which also didn't work. The kids, well they just played.





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