Giving Thanks for Friends and Asylum

Christian volunteers for the Center for Survivors of Torture, and one of his mentees – and dear friend – Suresh Pokhrel was recently granted asylum by the United States Government. It was a long, difficult road from the mountains of Nepal to the courts of San Antonio, but Suresh and his wife Manju finally won their freedom after years of persecution and struggle. Suresh is a poet and a lawyer, who speaks Nepali, Hindi, English, German, and is learning Spanish and French. Recently, he earned his certification to translate between English and Nepali speakers here in the U.S. He and Manju currently manage a convenience store in North Austin. Within weeks, Suresh and Manju will be reunited with their children, who have been living in Nepal for six years without their parents. Suresh and Manju recently invited us to their home to celebrate this great victory for their family.

Suresh presents us with gifts - journals to record our moments together

Suresh and Manju in their home in North Austin

Christian signs the Pokhrel's guest book. They are collecting memories from all their friends in Austin.

Christian, Manju and Suresh

Suresh drove us (in his NEW CAR!) to an Indian restaurant that Manju’s friend had recommended.

Suresh in his new car (a gift from Manju)

We let Suresh do the ordering: Chicken Tikka (skewered chicken cooked in tandoor with spices and yogurt), Goat Biriyani (a savory mixture of basmati rice and goat meat), Masoor Dal (split red lentils, very spicy but very good), Naan (one of many Indian flat breads), Raita (a tangy sour yogurt mixture, perfect for cooling your tongue after spicy dal), and for dessert: Gulab Jamun (deep-friend dough balls in a sugar syrup), Ras Malai (sugary white paneer cheese soaked in cream spiced with cardamom), and Pistachio Kulfi (creamy pistachio-flavored ice cream).

Passing the goat biriyani, mmmmm so good!

Sharing a feast with friends

Thank you for a wonderful dinner Suresh and Manju! We are so blessed to count you as friends!

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