In Venice the first restaurant opened and managed by migrants

A boat full of birds rides the waves pointing towards Italy, the only horizon where it is hoped to land to begin a new flight. It is the painting realized on the walls of the first African restaurant in Venice opened the last 4th November.

The metaphor of the flight is not accidental. The staff who believed in the project is made largely by African migrants, arrived the last year with the hope of closing the door with the past and starting over. The founding members, Hamed Mohamad Karim, Hadi Noori, Mandana Goki Nadimi and Samah Hassan El Feky, migrants from Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt, have tried on their skin years before the drama of migration, when some of them arrived in smallest refrigerated trucks still minors.

And it was just a few years ago in one of the the minor’s center of Venice, that one of them, Hazara Hamed Mohamad Karim, had the intuition that food can unite and help to overcome prejudices. “I started organizing parties in the minor’s center, asking all the boys to prepare a dish typical of their country – he explains – and I saw that it worked for both the boys who were in the centers, both for those who came to visit us”. Hamed, a film director who can no longer return to Afghanistan because threatened by the Taliban, makes a first experiment in 2002 founding the Orient Experience in the Cannaregio district. The restaurant offers dishes that migrants have learned to cook on the journey of hope to Venice and is a great success.

Today the challenge is even greater because those working for the Africa Experience are asylum seekers, representing the thousands of people who are fleeing desperately from the black continent. “I am Ethiopian” – tells Alganesh Tadese Gebrehiwot, 30 years old, fled from Ethiopia, chef of the restaurant – “I learned to cook with my mother. In Ethiopia there is still a lot of division of roles, women cook and stay at home. I grew up helping her and I learned some of the dishes I will prepare, like some kind of bread, Ejra or the Mesir wot, a lentil soup. I would never have thought of becoming a cook, but I am finally very happy. I worked as a cleaning lady, but I could never make my dreams come true”.

Even Muhammed Sow from Guinea and Efe Agbontaen from Nigeria have fled from wars and violence on the boats full of people we see every day. In that mass there are individual human beings, individuals with the stories that can be known here, speaking in front of a good dish coming from a country of which very little is known at the end.

The dishes of the menu were chosen through a competition that involved students and professors of the Hotel Management School Barbarigo of Venice, called to judge which dishes to include in a real menu. The first classified have been theirs, accompanied in the hall by some founding members, such as Hadi Noori, among the first boys arrived from Afghanistan in those refrigerated trucks that for some were mortal: “I was 15 years – tells Noori, today 25 years – and I worked at the factory in Kabul, I wanted to study and I could not, in the end I had no other choice, I had to leave”.

At 15 he leaves from Afghanistan to reach Iran and then continue on foot to Turkey: “During these trips you’re alone – he explains – but then you meet other people who may not see again … From Turkey I went to Greece with a rubber boat, then I stopped there and tried to work but there was so much exploitation. One day I stuck with other boys in a truck full of oranges, the temperature fluctuated between zero and two degrees, but we managed. The same happens to my colleagues who are here today, when they embark and do not know if they will ever arrive. It only drives us the desire to start again, to fly again”.

We Are Alone

Loneliness. Ten letter word that arouses million fears in us. Due to our busy schedules,  we do not notice this life fact which will certainly happen to us all in one of our life stadium.

Loneliness is felt and pervaded mostly in the  old age. With less  and less tasks, life really slows down.

World as we know it changes: people face with loss of family, friends and partners, number of close people is decreasing, it gets harder to find somebody to  talk to and share feelings with, without feeling as burden to everyone around us.

Rarely do we young try to „walk in their shoes“. Could it be that we don`t even consider  difficulties that this life stage brings and  the fear that it awaits us too, if we are lucky enough to live to that age.  How can we help older people so that they don`t  perceive old age as waiting for the „train of death“? We cannot answer all of the questions, but we must be aware of these facts:

Old age implies  adjustment to life changes as well as potential risks this age inevitably carries. As body functions naturally decrease, health risks and development of the diseases  arise. Lack of activities, social care and nurishment  affects  their mental health. Due to all that, it can be concluded that elderly are social group that can become subject to poverty and social exclusion.

Therefore, social support is crucial in overcoming such life changes. Indeed, it is hard to accept that older people are not included in social events. Just because they are old, does not mean they are less worthy. Moreover, we could learn a lot from their life experience.

I would like to mention that we will also grow old one day. If we could look back in the past, we could see that helping each other and supporting family life, part of which of course is helping older parents, was completely natural and, foremost, vital for community support.

Today is quite different. Older people are neglected, forgotten from their children and society and  are decaying  more and more, losing their cognitive and psychophysical abilities. Maybe neglected, but it doesn`t have to be like that!

Not only young pepole are alienated from elderly, but violence againtst them is increasing.  Often they are seen as incapable for living in modern world due to their old age and decreased body and cognitive functions.  I belive that value of their knowledge and experience is priceless. No world computer server can be compared  to the amount of knowledge that is carved in every inch of their body during lifetime.

One must wonder, what kind of society have we become when law protection from one`s own children and family memeber is needed?

Recently, in Croatia new law has been adopted  according to which the most severe  punishment and high money fine  are given to those who do not support nor take care for their old, poor and sick parents.

Although I am more than happy because of this positive changes in terms of punishment, but at the same time I am disappointed to see these negative trend which  demands such punishments.

Combining  young and old, inter – generational learning  can bring nothing but positive changes in us as well as in whole society. I am certain that we don`t want to wake up one day and have no one to talk wtih to. To be aware of all knowledge we have,our  fear and wishes and not having someone to share it with. When we become older, we may not be able to participate in the same amount of activities as when we were younger. In spite of that, we do have so much to offer in maintaining quallity of our society. We must not allow  spirit of elderly people to  ever vanish from us. Without doubt we can learn a lot from each other. Old people can complete our knowledge by, for example teaching us some traditional customs through which our culutural heritage could be preserved Meanwhil, we can help them in adjusting to modern ever changing  world. Stay human no matter what.

I would like to share with you example of one lovely, retired lady – one of the first DESA`s members – Mrs Marija Veltruski.  She is a wonderful person filled with love, compassion and above all, modesty. Through all her life, along with other DESA`s members, Mrs Veltruski has worked on  preservation of her homeland`s heritage, passing her knowledge on traditional values to the youngest members through  additional  extra-curicular  activities in elementary schools, implementation of which is her credit.  All of this you can fins in her recently published book „Nurished with strings of love“. She wrote book in her 74th year with help of younger  DESA`s members.  After this, can somebody dispute the fact that older people can contribute to society helping its growth and wealth? And this is just one small example in my surrounding, but the one that fills me with love towards older people and inspires me to look at world  differently.

Local Activity France: “I allow myself to…”

This is a local activity made by women from suburban areas for this year celebration of March 8.It is about ” i allow myself to…”

 

 

                  I am self-congratulating myself

 

I allow myself the freedom not to be a mother

I give myself the right to invite a man to a drink

 

 

I give myself the right to love a woman

 

I dare to do a so-called masculine sport

 

I do not give the opportunity to do the job I love without prejudice

Original Source;  https://www.facebook.com/maylis.malossanne/posts/2015347165402607

“Vad har filmprojektet gjort och vad ska vi göra?”

Vår 3-månaderssammanfattning;

Filmprojektets andra år började i oktober 2017 med Minna, Ali och Charlotte som tillsammans planerar för det kommande året. Vi träffade vid flera tillfällen under oktober för att planera och slutföra aktiviteterna nedan. De blev en stor framgång!

Filmprojektgruppen hade en fantastisk social kväll tillsammans med personal och deltagare i november. Det var ett perfekt tillfälle att träffa gamla och nya människor intresserade av filmprojektet, lära känna varandra bättre och reflektera över föregående år. Vi diskuterade olika idéer för de nya filmerna och hade en trevlig stund tillsammans på bowlingbanorna, där vi stärkte gemenskapen och glädjen.

 

 

I slutet av november hade vi en Green Screen Activity i Blackbox Örkelljunga. Vi testade hur den gröna skärmen fungerade och hur vi kunde använda denna teknik i några av våra filmer.

 

Strax före juldagen samlades vi för att dela ett fantastiskt “julbord” som utarbetats av Minna! Där talade vi om KASAM-modellen och hur det nya året skulle stödja oss för att få en bättre KASAM; ett mer förståeligt, mer meningsfullt och mer hanterbart år. De arbetade tillsammans för att planera några av våra film storyboards redo att filma i det nya året.

Under de sista dagarna av året hade vi några intensiva dagar i en fotbollsturnering som var beredd att ytterligare ansluta till projektdeltagarna. Det fanns 12 otroligt begåvade fotbollslag. Det var fantastiskt att se alla som bidrar och stöder varandra. Vi ser fram emot 2018-turneringen.

En av de första aktiviteterna för 2018 var en indiska-tema-interkulturell-kväll. Det var ett härlig kväll där vi fick uppleva den indiska kulturen, införlivat utmanande teambyggande aktiviteter som planerades av IFALLs internationella volontärer. Det finns många internationella volontärer inom IFALL för närvarande. De är från England, Australien och Turkiet. De är också tillgängliga och stödjer filmprojektet.

Slutligen gick filmprojektgruppen för att titta på The Greatest Showman för att göra starkare relationer med de unga och ge inspiration för ungdomarnas egna filmer. Det bidrog också till att göra en stark koppling mellan filmprojektet och ett annat projekt inom IFALL som baserat på cirkuslära.

Vi kommer att börja filma med 5 ensamkommande minderåriga i februari och mars. Filmgruppen kommer att träffas en gång i veckan på måndag för filmaktivitet mellan 15:00 och 16:00 i Forum Örkelljunga och förbereder sig för att träffas i sessioner. Vi planerar vår sommartur i Skåne och Sverige att dela våra filmer och det kommer att visas för en publik på minst 250 personer. Det kommer att bidra till att sprida framgången med filmprojektet och de unga människornas berättelser. Vi har skapat ett utkast till plan för hur vi kan använda filmprojektet och KASAM-metoden för ungdomsarbetare, socialarbetare, lärare och andra volontärer. Våra lokala aktiviteter har nu officiellt startat för den här terminen och vi hoppas att vi ses där! Om du är intresserad av att delta i filmprojektet och skapa din egen film – kom och hälsa på oss.

Dreaming Out Loud Public Event – Democracy in Sweden

 

Last weekend IFALL promoted the event “Democracy in Sweden”.

Integrated in the project Dreaming Out Loud, IFALL invited the local youth to discuss and debate around the Democratic process and access in Sweden.

During the event we also took the time to make an exercise on participatory budgeting.
We asked the young people present for ideas for their community and voted on the best ones. The final result from this activity will be hand out to the municipality as a result of this process.

Thank you all for coming!

 

“If You’re Not Outraged, You’re Not Paying Attention”

I recently came across a post of Instagram;

Its amazing how true the words on a simple T-Shirt can be. This really struck a cord with me and really made me reflect on the current gender inequality that exists and shockingly how passive we can so easily become.

International Women’s Day is one day within the year, for example, when women are “allowed” to be celebrated. It is the perfect opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the women who have a positive impact on your life and inspire you everyday. In today’s society there are (thankfully) more and more women that are totally “rocking it” and not following the old fashioned and restricting societal rules. It’s so much easier nowadays for some people to break out of the mould and create a career for themselves and make life decisions for them and no one else.  It’s International days that, that can remind everyone that we shouldn’t have to compete, judge or push each other down those among us and instead we should uplift, empower, encourage and support our fellow females. But why can’t that be everyday?

There are so many women that have given me little bits of wisdom and life advice that have contributed to who I am as a women today. And i’m proud of it! But we can’t be proud of it everyday.

If a woman is too confident is misconstrued for “cockiness”.

If a women is too beautiful by societies standards its okay that she is constantly worried about my safety. “The other day I took a 15 minute walk and in that time I got honked at twice and a guy got out of his car at a red light to ask me if I needed a ride. It just makes me scared sometimes.”

If a women is too independent she is viewed she will single forever, like the world will end if she doesn’t get married by the time she’s 32.

It’s such a shame when you read, watch society unfold in the real world as well as on social media.  I’ve seen some of the bravest, strongest and most determined people be easily diminished within seconds just because “She’s a women.” and sometimes its women to women. (don’t blame men all the time!)

Every person has a story to tell or a great piece of advice no matter who they and who they identify as.  It’s so special when we learn from each other and we can learn so much from reading other’s ideas. Some of my favourite life mottos or quotes have come from things i’ve seen online and what other people have posted. Just like the photo above. We need to stop pushing each other down and open our eyes the world around us. Pay attention to what really matters.

I hope this has encouraged you to think about the women in your life and how they have changed you or impacted your live! Maybe remind them or let them know!

“When women support each other, incredible things happen!”

The Consequences of Discrimination

I’ve been fortunate enough not to have been discriminated in a professional environment because of my gender. There may have been a few minor cases where I had been in a general environment but I hadn’t noticed or it wasn’t significant enough; which is still definitely not acceptable but I guess it comes down to how I feel at the end of the day, in this case, I was fine. But on the other hand,  I have had a life time of discrimination of my skin colour, ethnicity and height.

Really…? Height? Yes… because I am 152cm at 19 years of age, I get discriminated. Not so much nowadays as my body has developed

and fitted into a ‘woman’s’ body, but as a child, I was always the size smaller than my actual age; and would face bullying in school mostly. Comparing my height to my skin colour and ethnicity, is a whole different level. I had learnt to accept my height, and I now look back and think, there was nothing to accept. I never had an issue with my height, but was led to believe so.

I am not black. I am brown. This is something that has always disturbed me as people have chosen to put me in the same category as other skin types. I am proud of my skin colour and I would still be proud if I were darker. The reason I raise this point is to demonstrate the level of ignorance that I have experienced. It is not just about the colour, it’s also about my identity. There are different tones of dark skin which helps identify someones ethnicity. For example, my ethnicity is Indian, my type of colour is significantly different compared to someone from Africa. Often, I have witnessed individuals labelling people of darker skin colours as one group. This perspective can lead to dangerous generalisations and stereotypes about particular communities.

Throughout school I was bullied horrendously. I understand that it’s a norm in an environment like school, nothing is perfect and there will always be cases where there’s some sort of bulling; even outside of school, in workplaces or just your personal social environment. But with things that an individual has no control of? Such as skin colour and where you come from? Even if it was possible to change these two things, why should we? You are who you are and you should NEVER let another individual who is (lets not forget) just like you…. make you feel like you should change. It seemed that I had become immune to the bulling at some stage where I just didn’t care what they said. Not in the sense of thinking ‘just ignore them and don’t care what they think’. It was more, ‘why bother?’ I gave up; I DID care what they thought and said. The thought to stand up for myself was always terrifying as I’d get shut down straight away. I had accepted the lies they told me and started to believe the negativity. I resented my skin colour and had always wished I had white skin through most of childhood and sometimes even to this day. At times I still even feel ashamed to be Indian because of the words that were said towards Indians and the unreasonable expectations they thought I would and should have.

It used to hurt in the beginning. But thankfully for age, maturity and the support from people that did care and accept me, I eventually could feel that I really just did NOT care what others thought and said; I could accept who I was and I still can today.

It has been a journey that I shouldn’t have had to go through.

KAFAMIZA GÖRE/AFTER OUR’ OWN HEART

KAFAMIZA GÖRE/AFTER OUR’ OWN HEART

           Tesettüre girmeyi tercih ettiğimde on bir yaşındaydım.‘O yaşta kendin tercih etmemişsindir.’ diyenleri duyar gibiyim.Tıpkı o zamanlar duyduğum gibi.

When i decided to wearing hijab i was eleven. I seem to hear the people who say you can not be the one, decided to wear it, in that age. As i heard in that times.

Çocukluğum boyunca yaşıtlarımdan daha uzun daha kalıplıydım.Belki de hala öyle sayılıyor olabilirim.Gelişmiş görünmemi bahane olarak gösteren bazı insanlar neden hala tesettüre girmediğimi sorgulamaya başlamışlardı.Ben de bir yandan neden girmem gerektiğini.Bşımı kapatarak okula gitmeye başladığımda orta okul birinci sınıf öğrencisiydim.Bunu baskıyla ya da zorlamayla yapmamış olmak  bana hala kendimi mutlu hissettiriyor.

I was more taller and bodied than my coevals. Maybe i have still been accepted as in the past. Some people who were alleging my bodied appearange, started to asking about why am i not started to wearing hijab. On the other hand i started to think about why should i wear it. I was in the first class of the middle school when i started to g oto school wearing hijab. Starting to wear it without any press and force is still makes me happy.

Neden başını örtmüyorsun diyenler yerini hızla bu yaşta bu ne yobazlık diyenlere bırakmaya başlamıştı bile.

The people saying what a fanacticim in that age has already started to takes place of the people asking why dont you cover your hair.

O yaştaki benin sadece tesettüre girmiş olması belli bir kesimi tatmin etmedi.Bu seferde neden pantolon giydiğimi sorgulamaya devam etmişlerdi oysa çocukluğumda annem pardesü giydiği için oyuna alınmayan ben değilmiydim.Pantolon giyiyorum diye beni sorgulayanlarla annem pardesü giyiyor diye beni oyuna almayanlar farklı insanlar olabilirmiydi?Elbette hayır.

Started to wearing hijab in that age, didnt satisfy some people. They proceed to query why am i wearing trousers yet i was also the one who were not being accepted to the games because of the topcoat my mother wears. Were they different people who were querying my trousers and who didn’t accept me to their games because of the topcoat my mother wears? Ofcouse not.

Yaşım ilerledikçe düşüncelerimde olan değişim giyim tarzıma,konuşmama,yaşantıma ,oturup kalkmama toplum içinde duruşuma kadar her şeye yansımıştı.E doğal olanı da bu değil miydi zaten?Fakat hangi doğal olan normal karşılanmıştı ki?

With the increasing in my age, the changes in my ideas reberated to everthing in my life till; my wearing style, my talking, my life, my stance in public. Wasn’t it was the naturel one? But which natural thing was seen as normal?

Üniversite birinci sınıftayken ‘ferace’adı verilen siyah bir pardesü giymeye başlamıştım. Tesettür şeklim biraz daha değişmişti.Artık pantolon da giymiyordum.Yaşımda tesettüre girebileceğim uygunluğa gelmişti.Elbette tüm bu faktörlerle tatmin olmayan insanlar yine vardı.Bu insanları bir başkasının hayatında bu kadar söz sahibi olabileceğine inandıran neydi?

I started to wear a black dress which is calling as ‘’ferace’’ in the first class of my university. My hijab style was changed a little bit. I didn’t wear trousers no longer. My age was also okay to wear hijab. Of course, there were some people who were not satisfied by all this factors. What was the thing make the people having right to meedle one’s life in that much?

Bu yaşta böyle karalara bürünmek bana hiç yakışmamıştı.Erkek arakadaşlarımla dışarda bir ortamda görünmem tam bir felaketti.Nasıl onlarla oturup kalakardım?Bu nasıl bir arsızlıkt?

It didn’t suit me to covering myself with black in that age. It was a disaster for me to be seemed with my male friends in somewhere. How can i spend time with them? What a shamelessness is this?

Zaman ilerledikçe ben değişmeye devam ettim.Ferace yerine daha etnik desenler daha maskülen kıyafetler kullanmaya başladım.Bu seferde hiç ‘kapalı’ bir BAYANA yakışmıyordu bu giydiklerim.O neydi erkek çocuğu gibi,yaşım kaç olmuştu biraz kadınsı giyinmeliydim.Kahkahalarla gülmemeliydim. Otobüste,metroda dolmuşta bacakalrını ayırarak oturanlardan,arkadan kendini hissettirmeye çalışanlardanrahatsız olduğumu belirtmekte benim suçumdu.Bide üstüne kapalıydım.Ne kadar art niyetliydim.Otobüste beni ellediğini hssettiğim adamdan önce sessizce uzaklaşmaya çalışmış sonra etkili olmayınca öfkeme yenik düşüp yumruk atmıştım.’Ay bu ne terbiyesizlik insan önce bi uyarır.’diyende,ben uyardığımda ‘Ne kadar art niyetlisin bi de başörtülü olacaksın’ diyenler aynı insanlar değilmiydi?

As the time progressed by i continued to change. I started to use more etnichal and masculine clothes instead of ferace. And at that time, it was not suitable for a woman wearing a head scarf. Why is she wearing as a male, how old is she? I should wear more femine clothes. I should’t laugh raucously. It was also my blame indicatin to be uncomfortable from the people who sit astraddle in metro, public busses and etc. How evil-minded i am. I tried to go away from a man touching at me on the bus, but when it didn’t work, i couldn’t compose myself and i punched the man. Weren’t they the same people who say ‘’What a shameless, you should have warned firstly.’’ And the people who were say ‘’ How devil-minded you are.’’ when i warned the man?

Bu toplum bizi bize hiç bırakmadı.Şort giydik tekmelediler.Tesettüre girdik okullara almadılar.Kahkaha attık hafif meşrep dediler.Tecavüz edip o saate dışarda ne işi var dediler,gündüz vakti kapıyı kırıp tecavüz etmekten de geri durmadılar.Üniversiteye gitmedik cahil dediler,gittik kız kısmının yeri evidir ne işine yarıyosun da okuyosun dediler.

This society never leave us to ourself. We weared short they kicked. We weared hijab they didn’t accept us to school. We laughed they said what a wanton. They raped and they asked what she were doing in outside in that late. They broked the doors and raped in broad daylight. We didn’t start to university they said illiterate, we started they said what the girl is doing in university her place is her home.

Bu ülke de bütün suçların günahkarı olarak gösterebildiğiniz biz kadınlar durmamaya kararlıyız. Siz isteseniz de istemeseniz de hayatın tam da için de sizin istediğniz gibi değil bizim istediğimiz gibi.Kafanıza değil kafamıza göre…

As the women who were being showed as evil-doer, we are decisive to not to stop. Whether you want or not, we will continue to be on the middle of the daily life. Not after your’s own heart, after our’s own heart…

When i decided to wearing hijab i was eleven. I seem to hear the people who say you can not be the one, decided to wear it, in that age. As i heard in that times.

I was more taller and bodied than my coevals. Maybe i have still been accepted as in the past. Some people who were alleging my bodied appearange, started to asking about why am i not started to wearing hijab. On the other hand i started to think about why should i wear it. I was in the first class of the middle school when i started to g oto school wearing hijab. Starting to wear it without any press and force is still makes me happy.

The people saying what a fanacticim in that age has already started to takes place of the people asking why dont you cover your hair.

Started to wearing hijab in that age, didnt satisfy some people. They proceed to query why am i wearing trousers yet i was also the one who were not being accepted to the games because of the topcoat my mother wears. Were they different people who were querying my trousers and who didn’t accept me to their games because of the topcoat my mother wears? Ofcouse not.

With the increasing in my age, the changes in my ideas reberated to everthing in my life till; my wearing style, my talking, my life, my stance in public. Wasn’t it was the naturel one? But which natural thing was seen as normal?

I started to wear a black dress which is calling as ‘’ferace’’ in the first class of my university. My hijab style was changed a little bit. I didn’t wear trousers no longer. My age was also okay to wear hijab. Of course, there were some people who were not satisfied by all this factors. What was the thing make the people having right to meedle one’s life in that much?

It didn’t suit met o covering myself with black in that age. It was a disaster for me to be seemed with my male friends in somewhere. How can i spend time with them? What a shamelessness is this?

As the time progressed by i continued to change. I started to use more ethical and masculine clothes instead of ferace. And at that time, it was not suitable for a woman wearing a head scarf. Why is she wearing as a male, how old is she? I should wear more feminine clothes. I should’t laugh raucously. It was also my blame indicating to be uncomfortable from the people who sit astraddle in metro, public busses and etc. How evil-minded i am. I tried to go away from a man touching at me on the bus, but when it didn’t work, i couldn’t compose myself and i punched the man. Weren’t they the same people who say ‘’What a shameless, you should have warned firstly.’’ And the people who were say ‘’ How devil-minded you are.’’ when i warned the man?

This society never leave us to ourself. We weared short they kicked. We weared hijab they didn’t accept us to school. We laughed they said what a wanton. They raped and they asked what she were doing in outside in that late. They broked the doors and raped in broad daylight. We didn’t start to university they said illiterate, we started they said what the girl is doing in university her place is her home.

As the women who were being showed as evil-doer, we are decisive to not to stop. Whether you want or not, we will continue to be on the middle of the daily life. Not after your’s own heart, after our’s own heart…

 

 

Preparing for the new term

 

It’s January 16th as I write this.
We’re all getting back from the winter break in dribs and drabs now and warming back up into the new year.
At the circus end of things, we’re investigating what kinds of props we can access to expand the options for our students, continuing with the Thursday night classes we were running last year and gearing up to start some more structured classes on Sunday afternoons, as well as preparing to teach some of the local community our teaching methods so they can carry the torch when we’re gone.
On the Thursday night classes, the biggest part of that job right now is creating cultural change for the regulars who have been coming along.
To explain a little, well before we arrived somebody set up a two part physical games session in that timeslot; football [ED: for any Australians reading, that’s soccer but don’t tell the Swedes that] on one side of the hall and unstructured play on the other.
I think the kids who’ve been coming along for a while, that kind of free play has been a fairly important outlet, but it’s also created a kind of escalation of chaos within that timeslot, to the point that when we were brought in midway through final semester last year it was raw bedlam in the room.
I’m not opposed to the occasional session in Thunderdome but now that we’ve been asked to bring circus to the community it’s an interesting challenge to engage the kids with it, most of whom are used to turning up not to do circus but to reenact something between Where the Wild Things Are and Lord of the Flies.
In other circumstances the skills & props we have as circus practitioners are often almost enough to engage the attention of most classes, but right now we’ve got to at all points be more interesting than climbing the walls, or experimenting with ways to injure yourself with a hula hoop.

We’ll get there, and it’s getting better from week to week.

I’m seeing a great diversity in the teaching methods the different facilitators IFALL has brought to bear.
We’re all coming from quite different views of how best to help our students so there’s a lot to learn for me and we’re having some very long and productive conversations of the subject while we nail down the curriculum. It’s exciting to be part of a project with such a high ambient skill base.

The language barrier continues to be both a barrier to and a perverse advantage in delivering the content.
What I mean by that is that being unable to converse directly with some of the students creates some obvious barriers (though these are gradually shrinking as our understanding of Svensk increases) and sometimes breaks the rapport needed to properly convey an idea (or even hold the attention of some of these kids).
Equally, I’ve been getting feedback from some of the local adults that having the students attend classes conducted mainly in English is a drawcard for their linguistic practice, so I’m glad there’s some side-benefits.

That leads rather neatly into the next project, as it happens.
We’ve been visiting the local highschool to promote it and thisafternoon we’ll be running the first session of an English Language Café.
This is mostly a chance for the kids to practice their English, and we’re also aiming to facilitate a bit of cultural exchange while we’re about it.
We’re looking at roundtable discussions of everyday stuff from our different countries, language based games (there’s a variation on Celebrity Heads here whose name translates to Crazy Head, but iirc with a pun on the second word with a word for saucepan or frying pan? I’m still a little confused about that one), a bit of light grammar education and probably a bit of english language comedy, as well as the ever present fika.

Fika, for any non-Swedes reading this, is a very civilised convention they have over here which is a lot like morning or afternoon tea. It happens between two and four times a day & it’s a bit of a social opportunity to take a break from work over something sweet & a hot drink & let your brain relax a little on whatever you’re working on.
I’ve heard it even increases productivity by knocking a few points off your daily stress, but even if that weren’t the case it’s highly worthwhile.
I’ll admit having a passing familiarity with German profanity I was rather surprised by the name when I arrived here.

Everybody should be back inside a week from now & then we’ll be able to really get things happening in earnest so until the next time I hope you have grand adventures & stay pleasantly warm.

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