I guess we could all use a hopeful reminder.
I wore my biggest smile, hoping to make them feel more comfortable as they walked in. They were nervous, I could tell. In that moment, all language barriers ceased. The human body can do more than we think..
While it’s important to be sensitive to their culture and their literacy levels, you must keep in mind that you are working with humans.
Solomon None sat down in front of a computer for the first time ever. I showed him how to turn it on and off and he insisted on practicing it a few times before we could even get into a lesson. His English was poor but he was able to understand “BBC.” He wanted to read the world news so we went to the website and found the Asia-Pacific section and images of Burma displayed. My translator MaDee said he was most excited to be able to read the news but I had a hard time telling them that Burmese/Karen was a difficult language to tell the computer to translate. While we have google translator and actually have the option to change almost any website into another language, we can’t in theirs.
This mad me sad. But, I also saw opportunity. If they know how to get to the BBC- they can see images and then read in English to try and understand which lessens the dependency on their language so they can learn English better. In a non-imperialistic way I should add. I think it’s crucial that they maintain their culture, but to get by in America, in Buffalo’s America…English is key.
8p approached quickly and the taxi was outside waiting while they were busy reading and typing. We all stood in a circle for a moment to talk about the next time we would meet when Zaw’s sister walked in the door with her daughter. Zaw grabbed his niece and quickly came up to me to introduce us. She is 18 months old. He was kissing her and showing her the computer and I thought-we’re not so different.
They all set up e-mail addresses and I was their first recipient! I opened the e-mails this morning and they were simple thank-you’s and see you tomorrow’s.
What a beautiful human experience. What a beautiful life I have.
“I don’t expect to see perfection before I die. Lord, if I did I would have stuck my head in the oven back in Tucson, after hearing the stories of some of those refugees. What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, “What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?”
— Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
There is a terribly adorable eleven year old girl on the Ellen show right now expressing her love for the game of football and she is sharing that she has played since she was five and is now being told she can no longer play because of her…gender.
Leave it to the adults to decide something like this and for the kids to use their large voices to tell them “No.”
I love it.
I think about this often when working with children and developing lesson plans. Ironically enough, it’s so important to be as strategic as possible to ensure that at all times-their creativity is embraced and not tossed to the side. And, of course-it’s as important to remember this for myself.
Ryan and I are tackling One Eleven Photography, setting up a business model and working on promotions to build our portfolio. We have two weddings booked already and a lot to consider, invest in, and develop before we can even think about taking photos.
My Burmese training project begins this Thursday and runs every Thursday and Saturday through April. I’m tired from it and hoping it’s a success.
Just one short month until we leave for DC and so much to do in between.
I had a strange thought today about how much I’m going to miss the earth one day. So much that maybe I want a career where I’m outside more. Because God knows I’m happiest in the woods.I guess we’ll decide that when we finish up in the big ol city this summer. Who knows, maybe I’ll be doing international work outside with my camera and my pen and my heart.
I hope so.
It’s hard not to reminisce about Ireland today. Having been-it’s hard to celebrate Buffalo style. Maybe I’m just bitter that I am home in my robe drinking coffee and doing homework. Haha. Or maybe my idea of Ireland looks a little something like this.
Sam and I found a place in DC for the summer. We are renting a 4 bdrm in Hayetsville MD, just outside the city. Big enough for lots of guests-lots of space so I can do my research quietly on weekends too! We’re both getting ancy. I won’t have a vehicle for the summer to avoid having a payment since my lease is up in May. I will be minimizing my monthly payments by almost $600. My only bill will be my cell phone and I’m even downgrading there. Sam’s mother is lending her scooter which will get me to the metro from the house. How fun, I can’t wait!
Sam and I took a break from studying and drove to Como park with the dogs this afternoon. It’s sunny but still very cold. We came home and watched Leprechaun and I’m obviously now looking for more reasons not to do my law homework. I think I’ll go see what we’ll be close to this summer. I think he’s playing video games and not “coding” like he said.
One more year and we’ll both be done..
Slainte, my loves. xo.