NewsLink Summer 2016 - Page 5

safe and we have freedom.”

Like other Karen moms, Say has given her daughter a very American name: Juli Joy.

She has big dreams for her daughter too.

“Someday I hope she will go to school. I want her to go to college and maybe someday be a doctor.”

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“They love their babies,” Desiree said.

Breastfeeding rates should be high, but the nurses have learned that in Thailand, rich people feed their babies formula, so refugee moms sometimes want to follow suit.

“We talk a lot about why we choose to breastfeed in America,” Desiree said.

Amy and Desiree say their Karen clients are remarkably adaptable.

Huron is far from from any big cities, two hours from Sioux Falls and three from Fargo. In urban areas, nurses can help clients transition from graduation to pre-school programs, but in Huron, all they can do is get them comfortable with the public library. Wind can be incessant and temperatures can range from 100 in the summer to 40 below in the winter.

“Still, we don’t really see displacement or depression. They have such good family support. Their rate of post-partum depression is minimal,” Amy said.

“They’ve acclimated well to the rural community,” said Tim Jurgens, Refugee Resettlement Director for Lutheran Social Service and State Refugee Coordinator for South Dakota.

“They love to hunt and fish. It’s a natural environment for them. It’s very rare for them to leave Huron.”

It’s also rare for Karen women to cancel appointments. Most are eager to learn and have big hopes.

Take Say Kprew Paw, 23, for instance.

“I am so excited because my daughter is 6-months-old and she knows how to sit and crawl and she can say Pa Pa,” Say said through an interpreter.

“I like South Dakota. Everything is perfect.”

Back in the refugee camp, where she spent nine years, there often wasn’t enough food.

“Here we have food. We are safe and we have freedom.”

Like other Karen moms, Say has given her daughter a very American name: Juli Joy.

She has big dreams for her daughter too.

“Someday I hope she will go to school. I want her to go to college and maybe someday be a doctor.”

Cousins Juli Joy and Angelina

Nurse Amy Mattke, client Hei with daughter, Angelina, client

Say with daughter, Juli Joy, and nurse Desiree Rand