30 de desembre 2015

Resuming after teaching year in NZ. On the road again to learn from the Pacha Mama

Prologue to my 2015 travelling hyatus.
I have been teaching one year in New Zealand. There has been a huge personal growth for me those months but I couldn’t write a word during the process. My eyes, my brain were always too exhausted to write or read for pleasure, an interesting teacher’s phenomenon. Now, although I have slept a total of 3 hours words flow with relative ease. The spell is uncast.
The daily task of teaching has gifted me priceless interactions with young adults, seeing, in my reduced, more senior group a light in each of them. I have had the blessing of teaching some students up close and I have been able to gradually feel a sense of connection that I find essential in my stubborn will to share. I doubt many of my former students/colleagues will have the patience to follow a blog with so much to read but, if so, I have truly felt a deep sense of belonging with you. You have helped me through my lonesome days in the unexciting Northland life. I’ve felt whanau love and I have to thank it to your diverse personalities. Thank you for teaching me so much.
My next pre-blogging thought is regarding languages.
I speak both English and Spanish. If I wrote in those two languages I could probably reach an easy 80% of readers of all nationalities. But this blog is mainly thought to reach friends and family. I studied abroad, therefore all of my Spanish speaking friends speak English. I have met some Spanish people who ask me why I don’t write in Spanish, but I see it in a different light.
I grew up in a Catalan speaking community. It doesn’t mean I spoke Catalan to everyone, but everyone I know there understands or can read Catalan. Since I have lived in a few countries I chose to write a blog in English to reach out to most of my friends, but my parents have missed a lot of my written updates. It is only fair that if I had to choose another language to write my blog, that language would be Catalan. The secondary reason is preservation, it is a personal choice. It hurts me when people (and among them a big chunk of the Spanish population) belittle my language. It is my heritage and my identity. I grew up in a mainly Spanish speaking household. My parents spoke Spanish to each other and we would mostly speak Spanish, especially to mum. When both my sister and I became fully bilingual we both made the conscious choice to stop speaking Spanish in our community. We both had a similar argument: to support the weaker one. Spanish is very alive and healthy internationally language. Catalan, however, if not used can be threatened. I must add a political observation. At 10 years of age I wasn’t aware of the past struggle to reserve my mother tongue or of the coming neoliberalist-right wing Spanish governing majority. They seem to think they owe the right to decide our destiny and our cultural heritage. In hindsight, I made the right choice to err for Catalan as my main language for emotional, cultural, educational and personal reasons.
I therefore will make the extra effort to add some Catalan lines to allow some access to friends who aren’t fluent in English. They won’t be a translation of the English version. Yes, I do speak English and I can think in English to a certain extent. But I FEEL in Catalan. And most of my writing, more than factual, is emotion-driven.