I was really excited to volunteer this week, since I hadn’t seen Yolanda, Pedro, and Alfonso since before Spring Break.  I had put more preparation into this session than usual, making my own packets of worksheets for them.  When I got there, Yolanda was making tortillas, which smelled delicious.

Yolanda and Pedro sat down at the table a little later, and told me that Pedro lived elsewhere now.  Yolanda also told me that she was using the picture dictionary we gave her to teach an English speaking co-worker Spanish!  We set off reviewing some vocab from previous sessions- body parts, fruits, and vegetables.  I planned to teach them colors, but it turned out they already knew those.  We starting trying to put some sentences together (“The apple is red”) and interjected into the lesson a lot of discussion about the favorite vegetables and preparation.  They told me about a delicious-sounding stuffed cucumber dish that Pedro loved. 

We used my packets to learn months and days of the week in English, and I had them practice writing dates in MM/DD/YY format instead of DD/MM/YY.  They again surprised me with how quickly they picked things up, and how much English they already knew. 

As our group packed up, I couldn’t stop laughing as the kids spent all of their post-studying energy running around the small family room.  The youngest boy was screaming out U.S. presidents’ names that he had just memorized and cracked us all up when he called our 16th president “Hammerhead Lincoln.”  His energy was infectious and stayed with me all the way back to Charlottesville.

Kim is a fourth-year Foreign Affairs and Philosophy major, Spanish minor. She has been part of the Migrant Aid program since her first year at U.Va. (bio from 2009)

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