I met the father this morning, expecting to take him to the hospital, assuming it was for an appointment. Turns out, he wanted to take a vision test, as part of his driving exam requirement. Apparently he passed the written test this week, and identified the street signs properly, but did not understand the questions in the vision test. Apparently the DMV allows you to go to a doctor as an alternative verification. I explained to the father that you could not just walk into a doctor for an eye test. In some ways we are different than Afghanistan.
Our communication was rocky. He suggested that we visit a friend two blocks away who could act as an interpreter. I met the friend, an Afghan that has been here three years, about 40 years old, with a family in a similar upstairs apartment. We ate fruit, chocolate, cake, and wonderful tea, as he explained that he was working to get several family members out of Afghanistan. Clearly he hoped I could help.
With his help, I explained to the father that returning to the DMV with an interpreter, would be the better choice. However, I intend to call Affinia healthcare to verify that they have no easy exam for the father to take. I will also check with the DMV, to be sure bringing an interpreter for that test is acceptable.
The father also asked about getting fabric for his wife. I explained that we had fabric stores where you buy such things. But when I came home, Joan explained that a nonprofit called the City Sewing Room on Arsenal at Ivanhoe has such materials at a greatly reduced price. So I will take them there.