Hello friends, happy May! Just thought I’d write a quick catch up blog to document a few things I’ve been up to in the past month!
At the end of March, we officially wrapped up the English Second Language class I had been teaching since October. We ended with a party and graduation ceremony. All of my “regulars” came with native food: tamales, tres leches, tacos, and many other things I didn’t recognize, but were very yummy.
Marisol was with me since day one last October and was one of the first moms at Cole to really push for the beginner ESL class. She was always an incredibly patient student, and I’m thankful for that as a beginning teacher!
Here is the whole class!
Another fun adventure that happened in April was the YAV trip to Northern Ireland. Four of the YAVs-me, Lee, Susan, and Megan went to Northern Ireland to visit Ashley, our fellow Nashville YAV who is from a town outside of Belfast and was home for a few weeks. Ashley was a great tour guide, her parents were wonderful hosts, and we got the full Northern Ireland experience!
Here we are - enjoying some time by the sea after crossing the (very scary) Carrick-a-rede rope bridge! Check out my Facebook for more pictures of our week in Northern Ireland!
There are some BIG THINGS going on at Conexion Americas right now. I mean, BIG. I don’t know if anyone has heard me say much about the Casa Azafran community center, but it is going to not only be a new office space for our organization, but also a nonprofit collaborative with organizations such as YW Girls Inc., Justice for our Neighbors, and United Neighborhood Health Clinic, to name a few. A couple Saturdays ago we hosted the official groundbreaking for Casa Azafran with guests like Mayor Karl Dean, the Costa Rican ambassador to the US, as well as the conductor of the Nashville symphony.
Conexion Americas staff at the groundbreaking!
Conexion Americas families and guests laid the first bricks at the new building. In this picture, Marisol and her husband lay down a brick. Marisol (different than the one above) is a former Conversemos participant, is a Parents as Partners graduate and facilitator and is a part of the advanced ESL class at Cole. She’s wonderful!
This past Saturday we wrapped up the Spring semester of Conversemos with a Final Gathering Ice Cream party! We had participants this semester from college students to retirees and ice cream truly is something that brings everyone together, right?
We were joined by Jairo Prado, a local Nashville artist. Jairo designed the mural that will be featured on the front of Casa Azafran. As a part of the grant for the mural, Jairo was asked to work with the community to create, design and envision the mural. Our Conversemos participants were able to talk and share their stories while creating their own versions of the mural.
Kevin and Vidal met every week this semester, often at Kevin’s home. They read books and magazines together and plan to continue meeting this summer.
Nancy, on the left, and her partner met every week as well and plan to continue meeting. Maria, on the right, was my partner this semester. We met twice a week at a local library and took walks while we chatted.
Whew. Looking back on the past 8 months I can’t believe how fast this year has gone, and how different I feel now that we’re nearing the end. It’s been a crazy few weeks, but I’m excited about the next three months and everything that will happen during the rest of my YAV year!