Home | Posts RSS | Comments RSS | Login

Mi corazón canta.

04 October 2009
In 2004 I had the opportunity to visit Guatemala on a two week medical mission. I was 17, fresh out of high school, and eager to take on the world and leave my mark on it.

I love the Guatemalan people. They are a beautiful people with a rich heritage, and it's one of the highlights of my life that I was able to go and spend some time in their incredible country. I mostly interacted with children who didn't care that I could barely speak Spanish, they just wanted attention from the very white American who brought them toothbrushes. Guatemalan children have got to be the cutest children on the planet.

In another life, I would have returned to Guatemala after finishing college. I would have volunteered with Camino Seguro, an incredible program dedicated to helping Guatemalan children who literally live in the city dump receive an education, which enables them to help their families leave the dump. Someday I hope to donate bazillions of dollars to Camino Seguro, but that day is not today.

There are two things that I have recently been passionate about getting more involved with. The first is the Spanish language. I love Spanish. It is a beautiful language and I would love to be near fluent someday. My dad is from Mexico and it would be neat to be able to speak with him in his native tongue. I also want Sparrow to grow up being as bilingual as possible. I can't think of any negatives about being bilingual and I wish my parents had taught me Spanish as a child because it would have been nice to be fluent at a young age.

The second thing I have on my heart and mind lately is volunteerism. I miss serving people. I miss feeling like I am actively helping out in my community. I have been thinking of ways to get more involved in service, but with a 20 month old it's a little complicated! Someday I hope to take my family on a volunteering trip to South America or to Africa, but obviously that's several years away. What can I do in the meantime? I currently have plans to knit baby hats and sweaters to donate, but I'd like to do more. Ideally I'd like to be able to do something that involves Sparrow, Spanish, Guatemala and medicine!

So who has suggestions for me? How can I better my Spanish (for free-ish!) and volunteer and teach my 20 month old about service and go back to visit Guatemala next week? Who wants to volunteer to fly me out there? Anyone? ¿Alguien?

2 comments to Mi corazón canta.:

TopHat said...

We have a Spanish ward in our stake. I've suggested that we have weekday RS meetings where they teach us Spanish and we help them with English. Unfortunately, our RS has completely ignored that suggestion. Maybe your ward would be more open to that.

Also, I've heard that watching Spanish soap opera can help with learning Spanish- usually the plot and writing are simple. But that's not service-oriented, huh?

Contact the United Way for service opportunities. It's something I've been considering.

Hmm... I need to do more service, also.

Valerie said...

Hi. I saw a comment you made on Modern Molly Mormon and followed the link to your blog. I've never been to Guatemala. The closest I've been is inside the airport in Costa Rica. Doesn't exactly count even for Costa Rica, huh? But I have have been to Ecuador and I speak Spanish.

I don't know where you live, but I used to volunteer for a program in Provo called Community Health Connect. They call you a day or two before someone has a doctor or dentist's visit and you meet the patient there and interpret for them. Then you go home. You can tell them that it doesn't fit your schedule that day when they call to set it up. So it wasn't many hours a week, but it was still helping others. They also use people as educators at health fairs, etc. to speak to Spanish speaking people. Here's the link if you're close and interested http://www.communityhealthconnect.org/ .

I'm also in a Spanish-speaking ward and many of the adults speak little or no English and often need help filling out paperwork for Immigration or work (or whatver), writing a letter to a creditor, calling with questions about mortgages, setting up an appointment, going to parent-teacher conferences, etc. Maybe you can find a Spanish-speaking ward near you and contact the Bishop or Relief Society president and let them know you'd be willing to occasionally help with things like that when it fits into your schedule.

I know this comment is already long enough, but just wanted to say that your little guy is a super-cutie!