November Haverford House Update from Hanae Togami '19
November brought a lot of cause for celebration, with Gabe's birthday on the 18th and Thanksgiving. We celebrated Gabe's birthday with a group of friends at Ray's Happy Birthday Bar, and Gabe and I even sang karaoke for the crowd! It was Gabe's first venture into karaoke and he killed it.
The next week I had the privilege of attending the CPGC's screening of Namour, a film written and directed by local filmmaker Heidi Saman about "a valet driver for a trendy Los Angeles restaurant caught between his dead-end job and the demands of his Arab-American immigrant family." After the film, HIAS Pennsylvania Executive Director Cathryn Miller-Wilson and I spoke about the kinds of work that we do at HIAS PA to support immigrant families in Philadelphia. Cathy also spoke about how current immigration policy has been working to exclude immigrants and complicate their transition to life in the United States. We had many constructive discussions following the film with professors and students alike, many of whom are interested in becoming involved in HIAS PA's work.
The next week, our house attended a Friends Trivia Night in University City. Many members of our house are avid Friends fans, so we were sure to win. We divided the ten seasons up amongst house members and studied the show in the weeks leading up to the competition. Unfortunately, the questions were pretty tough and we fell short of placing in the top three (who actually knows Chandler's exact birthday??). It was a lot of fun, though, and we hope to attend another Friends Trivia Night in the future with better success.
I rounded out the month at the HIAS PA Thanksgiving dinner. We invited our clients and their families for an evening of food, music, and dance. There were many people in attendance and lots of cheer to go around. I spent a lot of the evening playing with many of our younger clients, who were sporting balloon hats and swords. The event was a huge success and I came to work on Monday feeling very rejuvenated.
We are nearing the halfway point for our Fellowship and we can't believe that it's flying by so fast!
- Hanae Togami '19, Fellow at HIAS Pennsylvania