It's much more official today: Stu is coming home. The reason it is more official today is that he had the TV and Internet turned off and is coming home after work tomorrow to pack and clean and be ready to go! Scaaaary. I remember that feeling a couple months ago as I was packing that felt like I was forgetting EVERYTHING, but at least I could just have him send me the stuff I forgot or didn't have room for. If he doesn't send it ahead, or pack it in his luggage, it's staying there.
So right now, he has invited Qadir, our watchman, up to the apartment to go through some of the things that he can't or doesn't want to take (our folding beach chairs, a wicker shelf in the bathroom, kitchen utensils, food, shoes, etc). I think it's the perfect way to get rid of some of those things because otherwise, in a week or so, the company will send someone in to throw away everything that isn't "theirs" and what a waste. I've complained a lot about Abu Dhabi's lack of good, accessible charity services and it seems like such a waste to throw away perfect good usable things, so I am so glad Stu thought of Qadir.
I've talked to Qadir on many occasions about his home life and his life in Abu Dhabi and I know he will be grateful for anything we could give him, even if it isn't important to us anymore. His little accomodations consist of a cot, a hot plate to cook his food on, a small bathroom, and whatever he has come across as he has been here. He has maybe 5 different outfits total. And he always had various people staying with him in his already limited space. When fellow Pakistani's were on hard times, he always welcomed them.
He has a son back home in Pakistan who is exactly Kaden's age (and a daughter who is two years older) and he because of his age, really latched onto Kaden when we first moved there and Kaden was barely 7 months old and had just learned to crawl. As I watched my own son grow before my eyes over the next year and a half, I also watched the heartbreak in Qadir's eyes every time he would tell me, "now my son is this big too". I can't imagine missing my kids' lives so that I can provide a meager life for my family.
We also got pretty attached to Qadir's brother while Qadir was on his one vacation (every two years) to Pakistan. He was so respectful to me and always came to stand watch when there were workers in my house, "for security" for said (he didn't trust them alone with me). He spoke almost no English and I speak no Urdu, but we developed a good bond during his couple months there. He has since gotten a job as a delivery truck driver in town. I hope they can find the means to get back home and live alongside their own families and not have to resort to living and working in a foreign country in a 6 x 10 closet, just trying to keep their families fed.
Let's remember that even in America there are so many people who are in need this holiday season and take the time to do your part for your community.
For those in the Boise area, you can contact the following places to find out how you can help:
US Marine Corps Toys for Tots
Boise Rescue Mission
Channel 7's Season Of Hope
December Food Drive at the Morrison Center
Kissin 92's Keep Kids Warm Campaign
WOW Country 104.3's Hope for the Holidays
Sweet Potato Casserole
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