Monday, February 22, 2010

Estoy una voluntaria!

Welcome regular readers and newcomers! The only introduction I have is that reading week went by much too fast. Now let’s jump right into it:

Local Volunteer Placement

I will start this topic by stating that when it rains it pours! That is certainly what happened within the last 24 hours. I went from having no volunteer placement to having 2 placements! As I mentioned in my last blog I had an “interview” this morning with the individual in charge of organizing the one-on-one tutoring at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre (MCC). So I ventured out into the blizzard we are having, which is not a likely characteristic of the spring-time weather we have been having even if it is a characteristic of a Canadian February, and made my way to downtown Kitchener (another one of my bus adventures). The weather was so bad that as I was walking past a parking lot (wide open space) I was being blown off of the sidewalk and onto the road! I had to walk sideways! I think this demonstrates the fact that I need to go back to the gym and build up some muscle. When I got to the MCC I was going to tell my now supervisor that I should probably hold off on being a tutor until September because at this point I will only be in Canada for 2 more months, but she had already paired me up with a student! I still explained my situation to her and she said it was fine, so I am tutoring someone from Brazil who already knows a good chunk of English and I think I’m pretty much just giving her an opportunity to practice her conversation skills. I’m really excited to meet her and get started. So, as you may have noticed, she is from Brazil and therefore speaks Portuguese and not Spanish. My supervisor told me that she doesn’t usually pair up people with the same language just to make sure they don’t resort back to it out of familiarity and comfort. After all of the concerns I voiced in my last blog I didn’t even need to worry about them for this project. Now, the second placement I landed is at St. John’s Kitchen with the Working Centre. In lieu of my realization that I probably wouldn’t be able to be a one-on-one tutor I emailed St. John’s Kitchen to see if I could start working there and I received an email this morning saying that I could stop by on Friday to start! I’m not sure if I am allowed to count both jobs in my hours to count towards my credit but if not I’m still excited to start both.

Contact Has Been Made

This afternoon I sent an email to Hugo, the founder of Fundación iDeas. It was in Spanish and is a bit amusing because I don’t know the future tense yet. Pretend you are a native Spanish speaker, this is what my email would look like to you:

Hello Hugo,
How are you? Sorry my Spanish is new. I have questions. Where I work and stay, at Quilino or Deán Fúnes? What I bring for the fundación? (I don’t know the future tense yet). I am very happy because I come to Argentina this summer.

Amusing? I thought so. Laughing at myself is going to have to be something I can do while I’m down there though otherwise I will be extremely frustrated.

Argentina tid-bit

I’ve started doing more research both for my own benefit and for my presentation in a couple of weeks. One thing I found really interesting is the story behind the Argentinean flag. The three bands (2 light blue and 1 white) represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes Mountains while the sun in the middle is known as the Sun of May. This sun embodies both the cultural and political history of Argentina. It commemorates emergence of the sun on May 25, 1810 during the first mass demonstration in favour of independence. And the face inside of the sun is made to mimic the Incan god of the sun, Inti (this is a picture of a statue of Inti). I read this story on the following website if anyone would like more information

On Friday I will finally have a volunteer position to talk about! Maybe even two if we’re lucky. Until then, have a wonderful four days.

Mucho amor!

1 comment:

  1. The future tense will be a tricky one! hehee
    Speaking of Spanish, is it not Soy una voluntaria? I am definitely having some problems practicing for the Spanish composition we are having next week. The problems are, I have not had time to get around to it!

    That aside, I am glad you are volunteering as a tutor to a new Canadian. I am doing that also currently, and she is an absolutely amazing human being. She is from Israel, so we are also not on the same language front. It is amazing what you sometimes resort to when you have no other way of communicating.

    Tips: Sign out a Portuguese-English dictionary and bring a paper and pen. Me and my student sometimes end up having to play pictionary :)
    Well, you did say she spoke a good deal of English!

    I look forward to hearing about both of your placements next week!!