December stirs dreams of home for No Sia Sian. Not this new home in Wisconsin, but her old home
up in the mountains of western Burma, which they now call Myanmar. The home where they tended a
vegetable garden and mango and avocado trees.
But when December comes around, No’s memories shift to Christmas, to images of her family singing
hymns together at the Presbyterian church.
But those days are of the past.
“We try to adopt a new culture,” she says, sitting cross-legged beside her parents in the family’s
second-floor apartment in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
It’s a difficult challenge. It almost always is for displaced families.
No Sia Sian and other Wisconsin residents share glimpses into the lives as refugees in the December 2014 Kiwanis magazine. Nearly a decade ago, local Kiwanis members helped Hmong families set up new homes. Now they're welcoming arrivals from Myanmar, Congo and Iraq..
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