Rain in a Dry Land is a documentary about two Somalian Bantu families who are given the opportunity to relocate to the United States in 2004 for a new start after living ten years in a Kenyan refugee camp. These families had to flee their homes to escape the constant warfare that had plagued their area; as a result they ended up in a refugee camp. The one family had their two daughters lost to them because of the attack on their people in their village. These two families enter America with some knowledge about the country, but no actual experience, therefore these people enter as Muslim, immigrants and of a completely different culture than Americans are used to. The two families have to learn to work in America, to school their children in the English schools, to get used to the technology and vast differences between what is acceptable in Somalia and what is not here. They have to reorient their whole lives to fit into a country that promises so much for these two families who have always had little to nothing before. The families also have to acclimate themselves to the American customs and traditions, meanwhile trying to not lose their own.
These two families are each placed in a separate state and town where host families as a part of an organization will help them resettle for six months and then the families are on their own. According to a man by the name of Nathan Southern “during the first two years of life in its new homeland. One moves to Springfield, Massachusetts, the other to Atlanta, Georgia - two wildly disparate regions, though in each case, the families struggle against racism, discrimination, impoverishment, and massive doses of culture shock to build new lives for themselves, and retain overwhelming optimism thanks to events such as the birth of a child, an American wedding, and the reunion of thousands of Somali Bantus from across the U.S.”
Aden and Madina’s family is resettled in Springfield Massachusetts and Arbai’s family is resettled in Atlanta Georgia. These families consider this relocation rain in a dry land, hence the movie title. They see America as the first “rain” they have seen when they have been living in a “drought” in Kenya for so long. Before the families can relocate however, they must first take some education classes that explain how living in America will be like and they also learn how to operate and understand certain cultural ideas from America. After the training, the two families have to wait to be selected to go to America. As they wait, life continues on in their refugee camp.
When the families are finally selected after months of waiting it is with much anticipation, hope and nervousness that they prepare to leave the place and people that they have come to call home and family. Every family sent to the U.S. is supported for the first six months by a Christian organization to help prepare them for when they will be on their own. Throughout their time in America, the two families discover...