From Great Lakes to Cacti

“In Africa, I used to have my own business”

“I sold shoes and sweaters and taught at the church”.

Moris, a refugee originally from Burundi, is now a part-time janitor.  He and his two daughters Tosha Maria, 22, and Safi, 18, have been living in the United States for seven years but have been back in Tucson for a couple of months. Before coming back to Tucson, they used to live in Indiana. Here, Moris and his family volunteer picking fruit on Saturdays with the Iskashitaa Refugee Network.

“I like Tucson, the weather is like Africa.”

If you ask Moris or his eldest daughter Tosha Maria where they are from you might get mixed answers. Tosha Maria might tell you Tanzania but tell another person Congo. Moris will first say Africa and if you press further he might answer Burundi. If another person asks the same question he might also reply Tanzania. Only after questioning the different responses you would hear on a Saturday harvest with Iskashitaa, would Moris then reveal his home country.

“Burundi had problems, so I left.”

Moris then lived in a Tanzanian refugee camp for 20 years…

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