To answer your questions on who the smiling and international face of Vancouver is in our ‘place holder’ picture for the May Post on the Express Lane Blog, let me just say this:
She is one of the wonderful new friends I have met in the course of working with professional people seeking cross cultural understanding and better grasp of every day English in conversation and real life situations.
Here, pink cherry blossoms begin the spiral of blooms spring brings to the Lower Mainland, and welcome her family as new official Citizens of Canada. Yet more quality people who have come with education, a family, great intentions and positive outlook. All are ready to contribute to their new home and in fact have already begun work at the entry level possible for them, despite being several notches down from their expertise and capability. In addition this snap was taken on a day of rest between the volunteer jobs they have undertaken.
Why are new immigrants volunteering? For meaningful contact and to contribute with their appreciation for supports they have experienced in their process of resettlement.
They are motivated to improve their communication skills. To learn more about their culture through direct experience of those already living in it. And, they have chosen to honour the citizens that made this country what it is – the seniors who worked, served, built and educated the society they now live in.
Adaptation to a new culture brings a lifetime of learning, reward and sacrifice. I am happy to have shared this one positive face with the world as a reminder of the human connection and the hard work and dedication to communication success that goes on, well past the time inked stamps dry and paper is filed.