Welcome to Buffalo: Sisters Zahida & Olga

Sisters Zahida and Olga

Right in the heart of Buffalo, are two very interesting sisters who came from Germany to this country many years ago, raised a family, became citizens,and have now moved to our community with all their talents, interests, and outgoing, friendly nature. Buffalo welcomes Zahida Halilovic and Olga Medic.

Zahida moved to the Dallas area in 1993 with her husband and five children under President Clinton?s Refugee Program. They were sponsored by the Catholic Charities who moved them to Houston where work and housing was available. While her husband worked, Fahida supplemented the family by cleaning homes for the next eighteen years. All the children are now grown, married, and doing well.

Olga, stayed behind when her sister moved to the States and worked at an American Army Commissary where she cooked for eleven years for the soldiers who were stationed overseas. ?The soldiers took my heart,? said Olga who learned to speak English while still in Germany.

Then Zahida met some hard times when her husband became ill. She cared for him for several years until he passed away. Following that, Zahida suffered a heart attack. That is when Olga found a way to come to America. ?I had to help my sister,? said Olga. ?She is a wonderful lady, a good mother, and was a good partner to her husband.?

Olga arrived in Houston eleven years ago and soon found work in the kitchen of Herman Memorial Hospital. For the first six months she worked as a volunteer while she waited for the paperwork to catch up with her and she could get a work visa. ?I went to the hospital everyday, and put in over 800 hours in volunteer work.?

As soon as they could, Herman Memorial hired Olga and she worked for them for the next ten years. ?I was really happy there. Happy to find a place to work.? Eventually, Olga completed the requirements to become an American citizen in December of 2018.

After a few years with Olga living with her, Zahida reached retirement age and could no longer, physically, work so hard. The sisters, with a reduced income, started looking for more affordable housing. Nothing that looked suitable was found in Houston, and their search brought them, randomly, to Buffalo.

?We liked Buffalo when we first saw it!? said Zahida, ?The rolling hills reminded us of our old country.?

Driving around to find an apartment, the sisters stumbled onto the Buffalo Housing Authority and met Elaine Graves, the manager of the units. ?Elaine was like an angel,? said Olga. ?We were so happy to apply to live here, and so happy to be here. In Buffalo we feel safe and secure and everyone we meet is so friendly and kind.?

Zahida and Olga still cook. A lot. And it is all delicious and mostly authentic German cuisine. Zahida makes homemade bread regularly and her own cottage cheese. They have a very nice garden is the small area available outside their home where they say they can take the seed of one tomato and grow enough to supply them with fresh tomatoes all season! For gift giving, they make beautiful crochet items. And for a hobby, they keep a larger garden on property that Zahida?s daughter owns near Dew.

Today, Olga supplements Zahida?s retirement funds by working a few hours each day at Mickey?s Pizza. ?It is so nice,? said Olga, ?that we live where I can simply walk to work.?

The most striking thing about this pair is how happy they are and how happy they are to be here. ?The United States is a great country with great opportunities for those who will work. We are blessed to be here and blessed to have friends and neighbors here in Buffalo.?

Actually though, it is Buffalo who is blessed to have this wonderful pair of sisters. Thank you for making your home here. Welcome, Zahida and Olga!