It is incredibel what a meal can do. Makes people more comfortable talking while eating, specially when the meal is tasty and offered with love. This is very true in a family, with friends and with strangers. I’m saying strangers to compare with friends and family, but in fact they are not usually the first time connections. Is someone you met more than once occasionally or through a common connection. But it is not your friend.
There are so many like them around us. So many connections that we wave at the street, chat at the elevator and exchange jokes at the line while waiting to pay for our groceries.
I think is important that we invite new immigrants specially for a lunch, dinner or at least for a coffee. It will say a lot.
I remember my friend from Bolivia who told me that she was going at an Anglican church (not the one she belonged) for a time and she enjoyed the friendship of the people over there. Many times when she was feeling alone, somehow various couples will ask her if she has plans for lunch and usually she didn’t so she joined them for a great time.
Albanians are not used to be invited for lunch withput any occasion -it will raise their suspicions -what this person is looking at me. So you can start with a coffee or offer to send some place where they can do shopping – cheaper or good quality products. Or offer them free tickets at a family park or a concert. Things will change a lot following what you do.
When we arrived in Canada our cousins send us various places they already know – that helped us a lot. We will remember always their act of kindness.
I know that this requires time and some finances but it is worth trying.
BUT don;t forget that needs to be sincere, otherwise will have no effect and will be easily seen.
Love finds a way!