Last Friday, Mark and I were out knocking on SoCe doors interviewing neighbors. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon, so many people were still at work. We covered a lot of ground, moving from one house to the next, hoping that a few people would be home. The first person we met said she did not want to participate. So, we continued down the street. A few houses later, we met a woman named Alice (not her real name). Alice was fun to interview because she answered on behalf of her entire family - her father, her children, her brother and sister in-law - all of whom are very talented. Her house was filled with the delicious smell of the lentils that she was cooking for dinner. It smelled amazing, but she told us she would like to take cooking lessons! When we asked what she would be willing to teach others, she replied, “Spanish. I would be willing to teach people Spanish.” I assured her that is much needed in our neighborhood and we will definitely take her up on her offer.
Mark and I continued knocking on doors. We talked to a few people, mostly just short conversations. Then we knocked on the door of a woman who did not speak English. She read our little SoCe flyer and then took the interview sheet from my hand, along with my pen, and filled out the skills inventory! She seemed like a very sweet lady, but we were unable to talk with her. Next, we knocked on her neighbor’s door. Lilly (not her real name) was glad to chat with us and shared her wide array of talents. She commented that she and her neighbor enjoy gardening together, but that her neighbor is a much better gardener and “is the one with the green thumb.” Lilly declared that she and her neighbor are best friends, despite the fact that they cannot speak to each other - just lots of gestures and smiles. At the end of the interview we asked Lilly what she would like to learn. “Well, I would really like to learn Spanish so I can talk to my neighbor.” Ahhh… of course! THIS is why we do what we do!