Monday, July 4, 2011

Volunteership and Language Learning

Written by Lucas Gelwarg, Student, CET Intensive Language and Culture Studies in Catania.

I wanted to improve my Italian language skills outside of my classes, so my Resident Director introduced me to Rosalba Rasà who is the owner and manager of a daycare center in Catania. Rosalba asked me if I would like to volunteer to help out with the children’s summer program—and I said yes!

For my first outing with the group we went to the beach. Before we went swimming, we sang and danced to some music. The children loved the YMCA song, but unfortunately I did not know all the lyrics. I had brought a meat sandwich to the beach and the children all thought it was funny that I would eat such a heavy food in the morning.

All the kids put on their swimmies and we went into the water. The water was so refreshing, at least for someone who is used to going to the beach in Maine. I jumped right in, but the water was too cold for some of the other kids. Marco, a thirteen-year-old who also helps out, wanted to race me to the buoy, and we had a little race for fun.

After everyone got out of the water, Marco asked me to help him get a sea urchin to show to the kids. While everyone else was drying off, we dived down and found one. We brought it over to the area where people were drying off, and everyone was so amazed by this curious creature. The teacher started explaining what it was to the kids. After everyone was dried off, we all got ice cream from the refreshment stand and enjoyed the rays of the sun. At around one o’clock, we went back to the daycare and watched Toy Story. I loved practicing my Italian with bambini—I can’t wait to return!

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