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Posts Tagged ‘Spanish’

-Blog post by Mary J., a Kindness Investor from Houston, TX

For over a year now,  I’ve often seen a gentleman with the lower right half of his leg missing asking for money, sitting on a triangular-shaped esplanade on a side street just off the freeway.  I’ve waved to him and said hello, but never have gift cards on me to give him.  I decided after I became a Kindness Investor, he would be one of my investments, but I haven’t seen him all week.

Today I got in the car – Jack in the passenger seat – and went to find him.  I had little hope, since it’s raining outside, but I had to give it another shot.

I have mixed feelings about giving handouts to people on the street.  They’re obviously in need of help on several levels, and I’m more than willing to help them out with food. In memory of my father, I give street people gift cards to nearby restaurants, so I know they’re getting one or two good meals and the money isn’t going to alcohol or drugs (if they don’t sell the cards).  But do our donations really help them?  Do the gift cards and loose change keep them on the street, hoping for more, instead of seeking permanent shelter and medical assistance?  I don’t want to be an enabler on any level.  Anyway…

As I turned off the feeder, the triangular esplanade was, once again, empty.  I felt relieved that the gentleman wasn’t sitting out there in the rain.  I parked in Starbuck’s parking lot to see if he was seeking shade somewhere in the little shopping strip, when I spotted three men huddled close together under an overhang in front of one of the shops.  My guy wasn’t among them, but I felt drawn to them nonetheless.

“What do you think, Jack, will one of these guys be my next investment?” Jack looked at me, licked his lips and gave me a big, happy, toothy grin, so I took that as a sign to “man up” and go meet them.  Please note that I never would have approached strangers in such a situation otherwise, but Jack is an excellent guard dog and his size generally keeps people at a distance anyway.

I drove up to where the three were standing, rolled down my window and asked if one of them was interested in helping me with a kindness project for $10.  They looked at each other and laughed, two of them pointing to one, pushing him towards the car.  They were speaking too quickly in Spanish for me to follow, but were apparently encouraging the third to talk to me.

The elected member walked towards me, looking around; more wary of me than I was of them.  “Yes, ma’am? You have a project?” he asked with a strong Spanish accent.

“Do you speak English?” I asked.  “Yes, ma’am.  Very good English,” he replied.

In a combination of Spanish and English, I told him about the Year of Giving project, my unemployment and my week as a Kindness Investor.   “Do you want this $10 bill as my kindness investment for today?”

He looked a little skeptical, turned to see where his companions were, then back to me.  “And what you want for this?”

“Tell me about yourself – whatever you want, where you’re from, about your family, the kind of work you do, what brought you here today.  How will you spend the $10 – will you save it, give it to someone, buy something?”  And, finally, “Do you have a wish you want someone to help you with?  Esta bien?”

“Si, si,” he nodded his head in agreement as I handed him my card with the $10 bill tied to it.  He briefly scanned the card and put it in his pocket.  I asked if he’d like to go to Starbuck’s to sit down and he said no, that he didn’t want to miss “the truck.”

He said his name is Edmund; “Mundo”, for short, and he is 20 years old.  He was at the strip center with his brother and cousin waiting for a truck to pick them up for a job.  I asked if he had other family here and he said his parents, brothers and sisters are in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  “No wife, no children?” I asked.  “No,” he laughed.  “Too young.”   There is a girl in Mexico he likes, “but she doesn’t know it yet,” he added.  “Maybe one day I will take her on a date.”  In the meantime, he spends most of his days finding work with his brother and cousin, watching TV and practicing his English.  He goes to church if he’s not working, calls home often and misses his family very much.

Mundo said he will probably send then $10 to his family in Mexico.  He doesn’t have a computer, but knows someone who will help him look up the Year of Giving website, so he can see his story.  His greatest wish is to make enough money to take care of his family, and for prayers to keep the jobs coming.

About that time, someone in a white truck pulled up and honked the horn.  “Must go now. Thank you for your kindness loan,” he said smiling, as he waved his compadres over and sprinted towards the truck.

I didn’t ask if the three of them are in the US illegally, but I suspect they are.  Mundo did not want me to take his picture, so I just took one of the shopping center where they had been standing.  He told me he doesn’t have contact information and didn’t want to give me his address, but offered that he lives in an apartment in the area, “with others from Mexico.”

Mundo, if you get a chance to see this, I am praying for you and your family. I am very proud of you for learning English, which you speak and understand muy bien.  And I hope you decide to use the $10 for a date with the beautiful senorita back home, soon. If you are here illegally, I encourage you to return home and go through the immigration process to live and work in the US legally, just as my great-great-grandparents from Germany and Czechoslovakia did two centuries ago, and as my husband’s parents from the Netherlands Antilles did 52 years ago.  Secure borders are critical for our nation’s safety and I would hate to see you hurt or worse crossing the border illegally.

Que tengas buena suerte, mi amigo!  Good luck, my friend. Be safe.

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Today’s post is from Election Day.  I thought it would be appropriate to give my ten dollars to someone who was exercising their civic duty by voting.

I walked over to my polling location and voted.  As an aside, what is wrong with our voting system?  They only have one electronic voting booth.  The rest is done by paper ballots.  I used to live in Brazil where they had fully electronic voting.  The electronic machines were introduced there in 1996 and fully implemented in 2000.  Ten years later, we have one machine in my voting district!  Parabens Brasil!

I approached several people who came out of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, my local polling location.  I first approached a white woman in her 50s with short dark hair who sat on a bench by herself.  She wasn’t very friendly toward me and asked me to give it to someone else.  Then I saw another woman leaving the voting center.  Amina refused as well, however, she said she liked the Year of Giving concept very much.  “I ran a soup kitchen in Johannesburg, South Africa for four years,” she shared.  “But for me to take your money and then give it to someone else just seems wrong.  I can use my own money to do that.”  We chatted for a little while longer before she went on her way.

Silvia and Salvador choose not to sleep in DC's shelters.

I then found a couple sleeping upright on a bench as they soaked in the sun’s warm rays to balance out the cool November air.   They were on the west side of the church.  I had seen them earlier, but didn’t want to wake them.  I noticed Salvador wasn’t able to sleep so I walked toward him.  As I got close to him, he nudged Silvia with his right elbow to wake up.

Silvia is 41 and is originally from El Salvador.  Salvador is 29 and is from Mexico.  She’s been here since 1984, him since 2002.  They are both homeless and sleep near a church at 16th and O Streets in DC.  “We even made it through the big snow storms last winter,” Silvia told me in Spanish.  “In fact, Salvador made us a really good shelter by the church with all the snow.”  

Salvador works at a restaurant somewhere near Thomas Circle I believe.  She works downtown cleaning offices I believe.  “I’ve got to work,” Silvia said.  “I have to pay $130 every month in child support.”  She has three children between the ages of 16-18.  She told me that she became homeless after a “situation of domestic violence.”

Salvador was rather quiet.  Maybe he was skeptical of my kindness.  He did say that he became homeless three years ago.  

Both of them said they would buy food with their portion of the ten dollars.  “I’m going to get me something from Chipotle,” Silvia said with an electric smile.  

They used the $10 for food.

It was five o’clock.  Salvador headed over to the church to start preparing their shelter for the evening and I walked with Silvia to the Dupont Metro where she needed to catch the train to get to work.  I gave her a hug and wished her luck.

This couple needs some basic items for the winter…please check out the Lend a Hand section if you are able to help them out.

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Hey!  I am still looking for a place to hold the year-end celebration.  If you know of someone with a philanthropic heart who would like to be a part of this special day, please shoot me an email at reed@yearofgiving.org!

On Sunday after a weekend visiting friends in southeastern Pennsylvania, we headed to Philadelphia Premium Outlets in Limerick, PA.  When you go to their website you will see this picture of the shopping center.

 

What they don’t show you is this.

 

That’s what you would see if you turn 180 degrees from the place where the first picture was taken. Twenty minutes before arriving, I could see the two cooling towers and the billowing cotton-like smoke streaming out of them.  As I pulled into the parking lot I have to admit that I was surprised to find this nuclear reactor so close to the mall.  It was literally next door to the outlets. 

Mario has worked at the outlets for two years. (photo: Reed)

After grabbing some lunch and saying goodbye to my childhood friends, I spotted Mario hustling about the grounds of the mall emptying the trash.  Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, he moved here in search of a better paying job.  In Spanish he explained, “I chose this area because I had some relatives already living here.”  Back home, his wife and five children receive regular money orders that he sends from his modest pay checks.  It’s been almost four years since he has seen them.  He’s been working at the outlets for about two years.

Mario took a second to let me snap this photo of him with the nuclear cooling towers in the background. (photo: Reed)

Some of you might have heard about the heavy rains that caused catastrophic flooding in his home state of Oaxaca back in September.  I asked him if his family and loved was were affected by the disaster and thankfully he said that they were all safe and doing ok.

Mario reminded me a little of Paulina from my second day of this year-long journey when he promptly told me that he would donate the money to his church.

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Some of you might recall that two of my recipients are celebrating a very special day today.  October 16th is the anniversary of Bob (Day 251) and Michelle’s (Day 277) sobriety.  Bob has been sober 24 years and Michelle eight.  I am so proud of them both and am thankful to have met them through my Year of Giving!

A VW Beatle sits almost completely underwater as flood victims make their way through town by boat. (Photo: Alfredo Estrella, AFP)

Today I am going to tell you about a fascinating young woman.  But first let me give you a little background on the circumstances that I met Ximena.  In September parts of Mexico were devastated when torrential downpours caused disastrous flooding in the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz.  As you might know, I used to live in Mexico and have many friends there today.  Fortunately everyone I know is safe, however, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans were affected by the relentless waters.  In September a group here in DC put together a fundraiser to collect money to send to needy families in Mexico.  My neighbor Paulina, who is Mexican, told me about the event and I stopped by to donate some money.

The fundraiser was held at Lupe Cantina, 1214 18th Street, NW (photo: Reed)

In addition to my donation to the fundraiser, I made another “donation” of $10 to Ximena.  She is a performing artist who was preparing to sing that evening at the event.  I found a moment when she was not busy and approached her and explained the Year of Giving concept

Ximena talking to a friend. (photo: Reed)

Ximena is 34 years old and hails from the Mexico City.  This talented young singer caught my attention when she shared with me part of her life where she spent four years living on a bus.  That’s right.  At the time she was living in Austin, Texas when she met up with a guy from DC who had driven a bus down to Texas.  The bus, called “Destino 2000”, would later turn into the home for several individuals.  The core group was about four people.  They loaded up and started driving south into Mexico.  But they didn’t stop there; they kept on going to Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, etc.  “We worked everywhere,” she explained in Spanish, “to get enough money to get us to the next place.”

Ximena, originally from Mexico City, lived on a bus for four years. (photo: Reed)

Her experience on the bus taught her many things.  “When you live here you take many things for granted,” she told me.  Sometimes the most basic necessities presented challenges.  “Without drinking water you can not survive,” she added. 

There was one common thread that sustained the nomadic group during their journey: music.  “The music was always the vehicle that opened doors for us and sustained us,” Ximena said.

Last May she received her degree in music education.  She smiled and said, “It took me 14 years to do it, but I made it!”  Although she currently does not have a job she says that she is fortunate enough to pick up small projects here and there.  When I invited her to the year-end celebration in December, she said she would not be able to attend because she would be in Texas in the area that is made up of Juarez on the Mexican side and El Paso on the US side.  “I am organizing some Fandangos in response to the violence that that area has suffered.”  I thought that I met Ximena before the alleged murder of David Hartley by Mexican pirates, but after checking it was in fact the same day that I met Ximena.  As a side note, something seems strange about that case…I’m not sure we are getting the full story.

“When you live here you take many things for granted.” - Ximena (photo: Reed)

Anyway, being out of work you would think that Ximena would use the money to help pay for her rent or get some groceries but that was not the case.  “I’m going to send the money to my ‘papa’” she told me.  “He doesn’t work any more and I haven’t had very much to send him lately.”  I thought that was very touching.  Our parents do so much for us as children that it is nice to be able to help them when they are in need.

I unfortunately had another event that evening and had to leave before Ximena performed.  Hopefully I will get another chance.

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Located about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida, the Dominican Republic is home to about 10 million people, about twice the population of the Greater Washington, DC area.

Yudith sat on a wooden bench in a small park near the Dupont Metro.  This is the very same area where I met Alex on Day 109, John on Day 115 and the forthcoming story of Kathryn on Day 260.  Originally from the Dominican Republic’s capital city of Santo Domingo, the 34-year-old now lives in Maryland with her parents.  She was waiting for her mother and agreed to take my $10 which she says she will give to a friend.  “My situation is not the best, but at least I have a job, she doesn’t have a job.”

“Life here hasn’t turned out to be what I hoped for,” she tells me in Spanish.  “I came here looking for a better job, but in some respects life was better back home.”  Yudith, a single mom, left her three daughters with her aunt five years ago and moved to Boston in an effort to earn enough money to provide for her family.  She later moved to DC where she at least has the stability of having her parents near by.  “My plan is uncertain right now.  I sometimes think of going back to Boston.  Finding a job there was difficult before but here has even been worse,” she says adding that she currently works in a beauty salon.  “I make between $300 and $600 a week here whereas back home I would only make about 4,000 pesos a month,” which was equal to about $135 at the time.  She wires money home every 15 days to help support her children.  What makes things even more complicated is the fact that her visa expired years ago and she is now here illegally.

She says that although things have been difficult here and she misses her daughters and many things about her life in Santo Domingo, there are many great things about the US as well.  “One thing that I really like about the United States is that there is less difference in how people treat others based on their economic status.  Back home there is a much bigger difference in how rich and poor people are treated.”  

Yudith’s mother arrived and I introduced myself to her.  She was friendly and smiled warmly at me.  I said goodbye and continued on my way.

I have lived many places.  In the US I have lived in California, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.  Outside of the US I have lived in Mexico, Spain and Brazil.  I have an idea for what it is like to live far from home; to adapt to new cultures and foreign languages.  One thing that I have always taken with me from the training that I received as a Rotary Youth Exchange student is that things are neither better nor worse in another country, they are just different.

I felt that Yudith understands this and is trying to make the best of it.  It must be really hard though.  She has a much more challenging situation than I had in any of my experiences in other countries.  I wish her lots luck.

By the way, I guess the Year of Giving was featured in a Chinese newspaper.  I have received so many nice emails and comments from readers in China.  Xie xie!  I think that is thank you in Mandarin.

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Versión en español sigue abajo.

Tomorrow is the big day.  Have you been thinking about who you might give your $10 to?  Don’t over think it.  Follow your heart.  Tell them what you are doing.  Explain to them quickly what the Year of Giving is about.  If you are at a loss on how to start the conversation, maybe this example that I sent to some friends will help. 

Hi…I was wondering if you could help me on a personal project that I am doing…well, let me explain to you what the project is and you can decide for yourself. I am participating in the Worldwide Day of Giving, a day that celebrates altruistic giving and community engagement. The project is simple….I find one person who I don’t know and give them $10, no strings attached. I would love for you to be the recipient of my $10.” 

If they say yes, you can ask other questions and learn more about them….etc. If they are still unsure, explain that if they say no, then you will simply have to find someone else. If they say they are not worthy of the $10, tell them they do not have to keep it and that they can do anything they want to with it. If they say that they prefer that you give it to someone who needs it, remind them that they can also do that. Sometimes you get a few objections….but hang in there and you will find the right person. 

Then submit your stories here

Changing subject a little, I didn’t get any takers to meet up and use my $100 game card at the ESPN Zone.  They were not very flexible in letting me use the credit for anything else (like food at their restaurant, etc) so I gave my card to some school kids there on a class trip.  They were ecstatic. 

I wish I had captured Doña Myriam smiling in this picture, but she had her serious artist look going on (Photo: Reed)

 

Today I have a beautiful story to share with you.  While I was in Manizales, I spent a good amount of time at the Rafael Pombo Foundation.  One day there was an adult art class taking place.  I was taking some photos of them painting when the work of 85-year-old Doña Myriam caught my eye.  We started to talk and I knew I had found my recipient for the day! 

Doña Myriam gave me so much energy.  She has so much passion to learn new things and live an active life.  She has taken up painting and if you take a look at the video, you will see that she is quite talented.  

She raised 10 children.  Sadly her one son, an electrician, has passed away.  I think back to the recent death of my cousin Ricky and how hard it was on my aunt.  My heart always goes out to parents who lose a child.  There is just nothing that prepares us for that.  She also lost her husband who died in 1976.  

Our conversation turned to happier times, like her childhood.  She shares that at 12-years-old she wanted to join the communist party.  By 15 she had changed her mind.  But this interest in politics and government led her to want to pursue a career in law.  “But times were different then.  My father forbid me to go study at the university.”  Well, she is making up for lost time now as she follows her passions. 

Photo: Reed

 

I asked her how she planned to use her 20,000 pesos.  There was an electricity in her voice when she answered me.  She smiled and placed her hand on top of mine and said, “I am going to buy some more painting supplies so that I can do more painting!”  She has been making paintings for each of her children.  Maybe with the additional funds she can start making paintings for all those grandchildren! 

This woman had something special.  She warmed my heart and I was sad when I left.  It was like I was saying goodbye to my own grandmother.  I gave her a hug and we exchanged phone numbers.  I have uploaded some of the video from our conversation.  It is in Spanish, but even those of you who don’t understand Spanish might enjoy seeing her paint and just watching her expressions.  She’s beautiful.

VERSIÓN ESPAÑOL

Mañana es el gran día.   ¿Has pensado a quien te gustaría darle tus $10?  No lo pienses tanto, sigue tu corazón.  Mi consejo es que les cuentes lo que estás haciendo, explícales rápidamente que significa el “Año del Dar”.  Si no sabes cómo iniciar la conversación, quizá este ejemplo te sirva. 

“Hola.. quería saber si me puedes ayudar en un proyecto personal.  Déjame te explico mi proyecto para que decidas si me quieres ayudar.  Estoy participando en el día mundial del Año del Dar, un día que celebra el dar sin condiciones y el compromiso de la comunidad.  El proyecto es muy simple… yo encuentro a una persona que no conozco y le doy $10 sin ninguna condición. Me encantaría que tú seas la persona que recibe mis $10 el día de hoy. 

Si la persona te dice que sí, ahora puedes hacer más preguntas y aprender más sobre él/ella.  Si no está seguro, explícale que si dice que no, simplemente tendrás que ir a buscar a otra persona.  Si dice que no vale los $10, dile que no se los tiene que quedar, que puede hacer lo que quiera con el dinero.  Si dice que prefiere que tú se lo des a otra persona que lo necesite, recuérdale que él también puede hacerlo.  Algunas veces recibes algunos rechazos… pero sigue intentando para que encuentres a la persona correcta. 

Después, comparte con nosotros tus historias aquí! 

Cambiando de tema, no pude encontrar a nadie para reunirnos y usar mi tarjeta con $100 para jugar en la Zona de ESPN.  La gente de ESPN no fue muy flexible y no pude usar el dinero como crédito para otro gasto (como comida en el restaurante, etc).  Acabé dando la tarjeta a unos niños que estaban de paseo con su clase de la escuela.  Los niños quedaron encantados. 

La profesora de la clase de arte (Photo: Reed)

Hoy tengo una historia muy linda para compartir.  Ahora que estuve de visita en Manizales, pase un buen tiempo con la Fundación Rafael Pombo.  En una de mis visitas, tuve la oportunidad de entrar a tomar fotos en la clase de arte para adultos.  Estaba tomando fotos de los alumnos y de sus pinturas cuando de repente encontré el trabajo de Doña Myriam, una señora de 85 años.  Comenzamos a platicar y supe que había encontrado a la persona que le daría los 20,000 pesos de ese día.  

Doña Myriam me dio mucha energía.  Ella tiene muchas ganas – y mucha pasión – de aprender cosas nuevas y vivir una vida activa.  Ahora está tomando clases de pintura y si ves el video, veras que tiene talento.  

Doña Myriam crió diez niños.  Desafortunadamente, un hijo hombre, un electricista, murió.  Esto me hizo pensar en la muerte reciente de mi primo Ricky y lo difícil que fue para mi tía.  Mi compasión siempre va para los padres que han perdido un hijo.  No existe nada que lo prepare a uno para eso.  Doña Myriam también perdió a su esposo que murió en 1976. 

Nuestra conversación cambio y comenzamos a hablar de los buenos tiempos, como su niñez.  Me comentó que a los 12 años, quiso unirse al partido comunista.  A los 15 ya había cambiado de parecer, pero siguió teniendo mucho interés en temas políticos y de gobierno por lo que decidió estudiar la carrera de derecho. “Pero los tiempos eran diferentes, mi padre me prohibió ir a la universidad.”  Ahora trata de recuperar el tiempo perdido y de seguir sus pasiones. 

Photo: Reed

Le pregunté cómo planeaba utilizar sus 20,000 pesos.  Hubo electricidad en su voz cuando me contestó.  Sonrió y  puso su mano sobre la mía y me dijo, “Voy a comprar más provisiones de pintura para poder pintar más!”  Ella ha estado pintando cuadros para cada uno de sus hijos.  Quizá, con las nuevas provisiones de pintura, Doña Myriam podrá comenzar a hacer pinturas para cada uno de sus nietos! 

Esta mujer tiene algo especial.  Me sentí  triste cuando me fui.  Fue como si le dijera adiós a mi propia abuela.  Le di un abrazo e intercambiamos números de teléfono.  Subí un video en español de nuestra conversación.  Es muy linda. 

Este blog fue traducido generosamente por Carla Tena en Washington, DC.

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View from my open living room on the coffee plantation (Photo: Reed)

My second day in Manizales was wonderful.  My main contact for the project I am doing here is Roberto who works for the Secretary of Education for the city of Manizales.  Roberto owns a coffee plantation where my accommodations have been graciously arranged for during my stay.  Although Cielo was right about it being hilly, it is not ugly here.  It is beautiful.  And as far as being cold, coming from Washington, DC I don’t find it cold but it does get a little chilly in the evening.  If she had told me it was the city of rain, I might have agreed with her.  It has rained a lot but then again it is the rainy season.

Colombia has taken on a very aggressive mission to become a bilingual country by 2019.  To do this, every state, or department as they call them, and city has made action plans for how to reach this goal.  One of the unique ways that this can be achieved is by leveraging the interest that students have in the arts to assist in language acquisition.  Part of my involvement here is to work with an amazing non-profit organization focused on the arts, the Rafael Pombo Foundation.  This is an excellent organization with a 25 year history of giving the community a place to explore the finer arts.  Their Bilingual Performing Arts School can play an integral part in the efforts to improve the English proficiency in Manizales and even accelerate language acquisition rates.  

On Thursday I visited the San Agustín Elementary School, a primary school that serves a severely impoverished area of the city.  We worked with a wonderful group of students who were chosen to sing at a ceremony the following day for the governor, the mayor, and the US ambassador.  Roberto and I, along with the school’s music teacher, Camilo, rehearsed two English songs with them.

Rain drops drip inside the Pombo Foundation soaking the 75-year-old floors (Photo: Reed)

Later that afternoon I stopped by the Rafael Pombo Foundation.  I met the small staff and took a tour of the facility.  The building is an impressive old European style mansion that is owned by the city of Manizales.  Unfortunately, the city has completely neglected the upkeep of this historic landmark.  From chairs that need reupholstered to holes in the roof that allow water to flood the building to overgrown landscaping.  The facility is in dire needs of some funding so that it can make the needed repairs and continue to be a cultural epicenter in the city for the arts.

While I was there I met Viviana, the coordinator for the foundation.  Viviana is 27 and lives in the Belen area of Manizales.  With a degree in art education, she fits right in at the Pombo Foundation.  In addition to her role as a coordinator, she also teaches some of the art classes.   Her interest is in abstract painting and she credits local artist Margoth Márquez as an inspiration and mentor.  

When she is not helping to run the Pombo Foundation, she is running her own foundation, Manizales Florece, an environmental group focused on issues in the Caldas state.  

Viviana opted to receive ten dollars instead of 20,000 pesos and plans to keep it as a rememberence of our meeting and the Year of Giving project.  Here is a short video in Spanish of her talking about her impression of the Year of Giving.

You will certainly hear more in the next two weeks about the Rafael Pombo Foundation, the Manizales Bilingüe Project, and the children of the San Agustín school.

SPANISH VERSION

Mi día segundo en Manizales fue maravilloso.  El contacto mayor para el proyecto que estoy haciendo es Roberto, quien trabaja para la Secretaria de Educación para la Cuidad de Manizales.  Roberto también es el dueño de una finca de cafe donde mi alojamiento se han organizado durante mi estancia.

Aunque Cielo fue correcta que el área es falduda, no esta feo aquí.  Llegando de Washington D.C., el frío no me molesta pero los noches siento algo fresco.  Si mi ha dicho que Manizales fue una ciudad de lluvias, de acuerdo.  Ha llovido mucho así es el tiempo de las lluvias.

Colombia ha tomado una misión muy agresiva que hacer un país bilingüe por 2019.  A hacerlo, cualquier estado – digo departamentos como se llaman – y ciudad han hecho planes como hacer este meta.

Una de las maneras que pueden hacerlo es aprovechando el interés de que los alumnos tienen en las artes para ayudar en la adquisición del lenguaje.  Parte de mi participación aquí es trabajar con un organización sorprendente sin fines de lucro con un foco de las artes se llaman Fundación Rafael Pombo.  Es un organización excelente con una historia de 25 anos dando a la comunidad un lugar para explorar las artes fines.  Su Performing Arts School bilingüe puede hacer un parte integral en sus deseos a aprovechar fluencia en Ingles en Manizales aun acelerar sus niveles de adquisición.

Students of Colegio San Agustin (Photo: Reed)

Jueves pasado fui a visitar La Escuela Primaria San Agustín que sirve los gravemente pobres de la ciudad. Trabajemos con un grupo de alumnos escogidos a cantar al una ceremonia el día siguiente para el gobernador, el alcalde y el embajador del EEUU.  Yo y Roberto con el profesor de música, Camilo, ensayemos dos cantos de Ingles con los alumnos.

Más tarde esa tarde dejé por la Fundación de Rafael Pombo.  Me reuní con la reducida cantidad de personal y tuvo un recorrido por las instalaciones.  El edificio es una antigua mansión de estilo Europeo e impresionante que es propiedad de la ciudad de Manizales.  Por desgracia, la ciudad completamente ha descuidado el mantenimiento de este sitio histórico.  Desde sillas que necesitan reparación hasta agujeros en el techo que permiten agua inundar y un jardín descuidado. La facilidad es en terribles necesidades de algunos fondos para que pueda hacer las reparaciones necesarias y seguirá siendo un epicentro cultural en la ciudad de las artes.

Mientras estuve allí conocí a Viviana, la Coordinadora de la Fundación.  Viviana tiene 27 anos y vive en el área de Belén de Manizales.  Con una licenciatura en educación de arte, ella encaja justo en la Fundación de Pombo.  Además de su papel como coordinadora, ella también enseña algunas de las clases de arte.   Su interés está en la pintura abstracta y ella menciona la artista local Margoth Márquez como una inspiración y mentor. 

Cuando ella no está ayudando a realizar la Fundación Pombo, ella está ejecutando su propia Fundación, Manizales Florece ~ un grupo ambiental centrado en cuestiones en el estado de Caldas.  Decidí Viviana a recibir diez dólares en lugar de veinte mil pesos y tiene planes a guardarlo como una memoria de conocernos y el proyecto Un Ano De Dar. Arriba tiene un video corto de ella dando su impresión del Un Ano de Dar.

Seguramente vas a escuchar más en los próximos dos semanas sobre la Fundación Rafael Pombo, el proyecto Manizales Bilingüe, y los chicos del colegio San Agustín.

Esta entrada del blog se tradujo amablemente por Penny Pérez.

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