We’ve been having a relaxed time at the house of our new Southern Sudanese friends the Bols. It’s eye-opening to be part of a new immigrant culture her in Australia as we meet other Sudanese and hear their stories and those of our hosts.

William Bol, February 2012
William is currently studying accounting at university.

Hakima with Elijah, February 2012
Hakima loves to cuddle Elijah every chance she gets. She's currently attending classes to improve her English so she can start studying nursing.

Bol, February 2012
12yo Bol loves soccer and is attending the local Catholic boys' school.

Monydhal, February 2012
10yo Monydhal enjoys spending time on the computer, playing games with his friends (or his brother in the next room).

Abuoch, February 2012
Abuoch turns eight next month and wants to start dancing.

Ayak, February 2012
4yo Ayak loves the friends she's made at day-care.

Elijah and Delaney, February 2012
Elijah has been sleeping on the bed or the floor of the room we've been staying in. It's nice to have a break from wearing him all day.

The Bols have an open house and we’ve been meeting a string of other visitors — and their children. The Africans talk together in Dinka or Arabic, and most of the children choose to respond only in English.

Aisha showing videos on the computer, February 2012
Aisha shows her new friends some of our home movies.

Playing with bubbles, February 2012
The girls take turns using the bubble gun and chasing the bubbles down.

Kids at the top of our truck, February 2012
The kids have so much fun exploring our truck. Hanging out the top, the boys yell "I'm the king of the world!"

Aisha and Abuoch, February 2012
Aisha and Abuoch offer a choice of smoothies — chocolate or banana.

Hakima and William met in Khartoum although their families are from the southern part of the country. They emigrated first to Cairo, Egypt and then moved to Australia in 2003 under the UNHCR’s resettlement program. They are part of a growing community of Sudanese immigrants in Australia. Bol and Monydahl were both born in Egypt; the two girls were born here in Australia.

We’ve been hearing about how Hakima and William don’t call each other by their names but by the title “Bol-Mum” or “Bol-Dad”; their identity is based on their first-born. Others may also call them by this as well, and it means that when they’re old and feeble, their identity will be notable because of their relationship to a strong, vibrant man — their son Bol.

In the Bol home, February 2012
In the evenings, we all sit, eat, talk and play together in the living room.

Delaney and Hakima, February 2012
Hakima teases Delaney about her Fishy Rug. She says that she can relate to Dell's habit because up until she was nine years old, she would suck on the collar of her shirt.

Hakima reading books to our girls, February 2012
Our girls love hearing Hakima's bed-time stories.

We’re still blessed by the relationship we established with Deng in 2000, and I suspect that this friendship with the Bols will be much the same. We look forward to remaining part of their lives every time we come to this part of the world, and we’re thankful for their generosity that brought us into their lives.