"They have a big problem in South Sudan. They kill some people. It is very bad. They kill children and women. It is very bad to kill somebody. Many people are dying."
Mary has been in refugee camps in Kenya and Somalia for at least twenty-five years, ever since she was a little girl. Since coming to the States, she has gone from Iowa, to Tennessee, and to Nebraska before settling here in Mankato. Mary has friends and relatives here, but most of her relatives are still in Sudan and she feels very sad about that. "I am sad for them and for my country. War is too much. I hear all the time about people who die. That danger - I don't have it here."
Mary is not able to work now, as she is in much pain from a car accident. She spends most mornings in school at the VINE Literacy Center practicing reading and writing in English. "It is hard - harder than we thought it would be."
Mary likes to cook and will grow her own vegetables now that she has moved into an apartment with a patio. Gardening is her favorite way to use her hands, other than talking by phone to her family in South Sudan.