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An Immigrant's First American Christmas: Congolese Diary

Dimine furnished this photo of himself during his days as a doctor.
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Dimine furnished this photo of himself during his days as a doctor.

Earlier this year, an airplane landed in Burlington, Vt. carrying a refugee from the Republic of Congo. Joshua Dimina fled his country when male members of his tribe were threatened by militia forces.

As part of our series on first holidays in the U.S., we hear Dimina's story. Like many refugees this year, he's feeling alone. When he fled the Republic of Congo, Dimina left his 3-year-old son behind.

Dimina was a doctor in Africa, but his credentials have not yet been recognized in the U.S. So, he's getting as close to his profession as he can, mopping floors and emptying trash at Burlington's Fletcher Allen Hospital.

The 38-year-old is grateful for his resettlement staff, a supportive church, and music played with new friends -- he practices guitar in his one-room garage apartment. But his faith has been tested this Christmas as he acclimates to life in the U.S.

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