MapQuest: Refugee from Bhutan Starts New Life In Dallas and at Holy Faith
At the tender age of 10, Dhan Ghalley, now 34, traveled with his family from Nepal to a Bhutanese refugee camp where he lived for 21 years before coming to Dallas.
“I grew up in the camps,” he said from his apartment in Vickery Meadows where he lives with his wife, Tulashi, and their three young children. “It was very miserable. The conditions were not good.” Housing consisted of bamboo and thatch construction, which offered little protection against extreme heat and cold weather. Racial, religious and political divisions forced Ghalley and his family from their home in Nepal to the refugee camps. Living there meant relying on aid groups such as the Red Cross and others to meet their needs. “The agencies provided us food twice a month – rice, oil, basic necessities, and medical help,” he said.
Eventually Ghalley, his wife and first child were able to apply through a year-and-a-half process to leave the Bhutan refugee camp for Dallas. The process included meetings to make sure the Ghalley family would be able to be successful moving to a new land. They have lived here about four years and reside in an apartment complex near other family members and others from Bhutan. “When something happens we all work together,” Ghalley said of the neighborhood. Ghalley’s other two children were born in the U.S. His three brothers and two sisters also have moved from the refugee camps to America.
Although he grew up as Hindu, Ghalley has since become a Christian and worships at Holy Faith in Dallas. He said he felt that Christianity offered more equality between people of different races and gender. “When I came here, I changed my religion. Other Christians that I knew influenced me. I was excited to attend church,” he said. Recently, Bishop George Sumner baptized the Ghalley family at Holy Faith, a mission-status church that worships out of Church of the Transfiguration. During the service 20 were baptized and 20 were confirmed. The service is in the language of Nepalese and has averaged about 65 people during a recent Sunday.
Ghalley believes his future his bright in America where he now works at Dal-Tile in Sunnyvale as a machine operator and his wife works for a cell phone company in Richardson. He plans to go to college, while working full-time, to earn an IT degree and eventually get a job working with computers. He also is strategizing on how he can earn and save enough money to buy a home so his children can go to a school district in the suburbs. Meanwhile, he said he is grateful for the opportunities in the U.S. “I’m happy to be here.”