Wednesday, January 16, 2013

And a new semester begins...without me.

There are some really neat things happening in my life, these days.  I didn't register for any classes this semester, even though I was offered three.  Money was an issue, and I wanted to focus on building up my work clients/hours.  I feel really comfortable with not being in school, which is odd for me because I enjoyed it so much.  I do miss the people, but I will be in the school as a volunteer so I will get to see the other students and staff that made being there so enjoyable.

I feel like I kind of lost control of life there for a bit, before the holidays.  There was so much to do, and I became focused on just getting work done and trying to take care of myself so that I wouldn't get sick.  It wasn't easy. Things are more relaxed now.  I can breathe.

Last week, I received an email from someone named Mohsen, in Iran, who was checking out this blog and noticed that I am interested in volunteering.  He is working in Iran, teaching English to people who speak Persian.  He asked me if I would be interested in helping him.  Of course I was.  I mean, seriously, how cool is that?

So, he has sent me a list of hundreds of English phrases to go through, for accuracy, etc.  Mohsen is getting this list ready in preparation for a film festival that will be held in Iran. There are some American actors who will be attending.  It's a brilliant list, I can't imagine how much work went into putting it together!  I'm enjoying the process of going through all the phrases, and it is making me think of my mother tongue in a completely different light.

One of the things that Mohsen has expressed to me is that he wants to help to open the pathways of communication between his people and culture, and mine. He shared this with me in an email - I think with teaching English language and culture to Persian people and vice versa  we can decrease misunderstandings between these countries and increase peace in the world. God willing. 

 It made me think of a post that I wrote after our last provincial election, when Pauline Marois was elected Premier of Quebec.  In it, I said that I am a small picture thinker, and so the topic of politics is a difficult one for me.  I don't automatically think long-term or big-picture.  I don't naturally have ideas that can help bring peace to a community, a province, a country.

So, what can I do?  I can do the same thing that most of us can do. I can promote peace in my life.  I can refuse to stoop to humiliating stereotypes.  I can see each person as an individual.  I can choose love, patience, kindness, grace.  My God has shown these things to me in abundance, even when I have not deserved them.  Especially when I have not deserved them.  I can follow the Prince of Peace, allowing Him to love others with His powerful love, through me.  And I can edit a list of English phrases and do other things to help bridge the gap.

Every little bit helps, right?

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