A story of new neighbors [excerpt]

I would estimate that there were 125 to 150 of them. Teenagers, all of them. They all had on a red name badge and many were carrying large backpacks. Nearly all had dark hair and skin some shade of brown. A majority of the females were wearing various head coverings — shaylas and khimars.

They had just arrived the night before, and many of them had a look on their face that’s hard to describe — a mix of eager anticipation, apprehension, and tenacious attentiveness. Some seemed really anxious about doing something wrong. One girl stopped me and asked me if it was OK to pour her drink out.

At the same time, there was laughter and talking. They whispered and giggled like any other teenagers. As they sat down with their breakfast, they didn’t spread out or leave a chair between themselves and the next person like I and my colleagues tended to do — they seemed to crowd into as few tables as possible next to each other. A few who had smartphones went to the edge of the table to take a group selfie.

I tried to read their name badges as they walked by me. Below their names, many of which I probably couldn’t pronounce correctly, were the names of different countries. Liberia, Pakistan and Bahrain were among the ones I saw... [read the full article at Baptist News Global]

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