Nixon is the oldest student in our school. He moved from Honduras to Belize to live with his mom and sisters. He is a smart, hard working,15 year old young man who speaks only Spanish. We got him because no one else would take him.
He doing great in math and learning a little English each day but so far knows only a few words. Next week we are going to have an ‘AVP-mini’ in the afternoons at Friends School. The Alternatives to Violence Project teaches ways to respond to conflict and even to help reduce the occasion for conflicts in the first place. It is a highly interactive workshop atmosphere and I was concerned that Nixon be able to fully participate.
I asked Ms Darcel and Ms Candi if they knew someone who was bilingual who could interpret from 1-3 pm for three days next week. No came to mind but they said they would think about it. I was almost ready to go down to the market and see if any of the hispanic vendors was comfortable enough with English to act as an interpreter when a woman came in the office. After she concluded her business with Ms Candi, I asked her if she knew anyone who could interpret, explaining our situation.
Out of the blue I heard, “We have someone!” I turned and looked at Ms Maggie, our secretary and bookkeeper. She said, “Mr. Frank can do it.”
“What?” I’m sure I sounded surprised, “Mr. Frank is bi-lingual?” Turns out that he is fluent in Spanish. He has since spoken with Nixon and will be glad to work as his interpreter. Amazing.
(For those of you who are not as familiar with our situation, Mr Frank lives across the street, has been a long-time friend of the school and is currently our school board president. He is a retired weatherman here in Belize. Ms. Maggie, his wife, is our secretary/bookkeeper.)