I actually have quite a lot to mention this week – so brace yourselves! As I mentioned last week, there were some things that I meant to mention but the length of my blog was pushing a readable limit so I’ll make up for it here. Some things that require an honourable mention but likely aren’t deep enough for a blog discussion are:
1.I received a call from the Multicultural Centre! So I have an interview(ish) set up for the week after reading week to speak with the individual in charge of the one-on-one tutoring program. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I have a volunteer placement so I still may have to resort to plan B but I love when you’ve finally given in that something may not happen and then once you admit it, everything works out. (I wonder if that is where they get the logic for self help groups, when admitting that you have a problem is the first step, “Hi my name is Olivia, and I don’t have a volunteer placement” BAM phone call, or “Hi my name is Olivia, and I don’t have anything to write about in my blog” BAM Krista gives me great ideas but I haven’t even had to use them yet because BAM my life gets interesting and relates to Beyond Borders)
2.I asked Joanne during our class on Monday about my placement and I am most definitely working with the local artisan groups and then will likely do a bit with youth too! So in lieu of this enlightenment I have been going through an artsy phase, actually it began this past weekend before class but that doesn’t matter. On Saturday night I helped my friend make a pair of moccasins, then came back to my room and painted picture frames until 4 in the morning, then on Wednesday night I stayed up until 3 painting a tray and then making a glass mosaic in it (it still needs to be glazed though), and then I’ve just been making multiple bracelets.
Probably nowhere near as good as the artists’ work that I will be working with this summer but I try. Anyways, I should be getting some contact info soon so that I can open up some communication links with my hosts and supervisors.
3.I’ve also had some wonderful friends start asking what they could donate that wasn’t just money. I was so proud of their initiative! So for anyone reading who was thinking that or realized just now reading this that it would be a good idea here is what I have for ideas so far: ART SUPPLIES (duh! I should have thought of this myself considering my placement, but I didn’t), gently used clothing, and Canadian paraphernalia that I can hand out to people (this can include pins, stickers, badges etc.). Thank you for the support!
Now something a little deeper, hopefully, regarding feeling prepared and actually being prepared for something like this. I came to a slightly stressful realization starting Monday. When I was asking Joanne about my placement she said that there is a possibility that I may just be directly taken to my placement and forego the two weeks of Spanish training. This would be awesome and all I can hope is that my Spanish skills by the end of April will be able to handle that. The end of April is still two and half months away so I can feel confident that I’ll be prepared for being immersed into a Spanish speaking culture. However, on Thursday I received a call from the Multicultural Centre about having an informal interview and I started freaking out. Now I don’t know how fluent one needs to be in a second language in order to get a position like this – hopefully not extremely fluent is all I can say. My Spanish skills are not going to amazingly flourish within a week, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed on not having to know a second language well. Then I became even more stressed about my situation! I reminded Joanne, not even 20 minutes ago, to start a line of communication with the founder of iDeas and the email I received with the founder CC’ed to the email was in Spanish! So now, not only do I not have two months to polish and then show off my Spanish skills, or even two weeks, this “test” could start tomorrow! So it made me realize that no matter how much I think I am prepared or will be prepared, when I actually arrive in Argentina that first week of May, I am going to feel as nervous (likely more) as I am about my upcoming Spanish encounters. I’m looking forward to it though because, like my upcoming Spanish speaking trials, they are opportunities for me to improve my skills. So even though I at first freaked out, I am now calm. Bring it on Spanish-speaking world I’m ready for you (at a beginner/intermediate level)! From this small chain of events I have realized that no matter how many DepartSmart tests I do, books I read, Spanish classes I take, I won’t know what the real thing is like until I get out there. I knew this indirectly the entire time (so I wasn’t completely naive about this trip), but a real life experience always helps to completely engrain it into your brain and critical thinking.