After fleeing Eritrea, Yabio Berhane spent 11 years living in an Ethiopian refugee camp before being granted access to come to America. Now, with the help of Jeff and Pat Cox, he is discovering what it takes to create a new life in a new world.
Yabio does not always understand Pats directions, but will always smile at the sound of her voice. A strong relationship has been fostered between Yabio and Pat that transcends the typical boss-employee dynamic.
Yabio has become conditioned to hard labor and prefers it to sitting at a desk and working. Before beginning his military at age 18, Yabio spent hours every day doing extremely physical agrarian work.
One of Yabio's duties at work is to construct a bath for to wash and clean the rugs that come into the store. Pat and Jeff said they spent a week teaching him how to use a power drill before he could successfully drill a nail into a 2-by-4 board.
After working for more than 50 hours during the week, Yabio falls asleep in the middle of his living room on Saturday evening. While most people have a five day workweek, Yabio works Monday through Saturday and often works far more than his scheduled 45 hours.
Headlights shine on the front door of Yabio's home. He will sit with his housemates in front of their shared laptop and listen to cultural music until they go to sleep.