Moe and Benlyne

Moe Naing (left) and Benlyne Louis have become good friends as classmates in Sandy Straus’ Level 1 ESL class. Moe came to the U.S. almost five years ago from Myanmar. Benlyne, from Haiti, has been here almost three years. 

At first the two women had to work hard to understand each other’s limited English, but sitting next to each other during class helped. Soon Moe took a selfie of the two of them and shared it with her family in Myanmar.   

Moe says, “She is my first friend here. No secrets. She talks about her family. I can share about my family.” 

Benlyne says about Moe, “She believes in me. She’s the only one that knows my story. She even said she can find me a boyfriend!”

Benlyne is ecstatic that finally she has received the necessary work authorization papers to allow her to get a job. She left Haiti fearing for her life, and she continues to worry about her father and two younger brothers back home. 

Moe’s ambition is to improve her English in order to help her son and daughter next year in kindergarten and Head Start. Also, she and her husband aspire to open a small restaurant, and with that goal in mind, they are moving to Windsor, CT.

 Moe and Benlyne will definitely miss each other, but they plan to stay connected through social media, using their two common languages—English and Friendship.