Let me just start by taking this time to thank you for the time that you took to read the content that I provide in my last post from “Letter to my teenage self”. I love writing pieces from the heart but I love it when someone tells me they liked (or disliked) certain point of what was written. In order to keep the writing flow at its peak, I started a small weekly series on how hosting has change my life. As I started writing my list, I realized the explanations that came with the points made were just too long to fit into one post.
I am always flattered when people raised their eyebrows or are in a state of shock when I tell them that I am a shy girl. In fact, when I was younger I would rather run or I’d hope to be hidden from the ground when my choir director would ask me to stand up in front of the youth choir to pray before or after rehearsal. When I was designated to do the task, I would sweat, I would put my hands in front of my eyes and the only thing I could manage to do is lead the group with Psalm 23 with my heart beating loud, run back to my seat as Alto and call it a day. Whew
When I was younger I watched my father who’s a Pastor delivered countless of preaching, officiated weddings, comforted the weary in funerals and sat in class (as he was babysitting me lol) through his lectures with seminary students. So talking to people should have come natural to me right? Wrong. However I remember that I used to be hooked by his eloquence of translating for the foreign missionaries who would come speak at our church. Although I didn’t have the mind to fully comprehend the content of what he was translating,I was captivated by the bouncing of phrases coming from two different languages. Fast Forward 15 years later I would have never guessed that I would be doing the same things that he did back then in my early career.
So how did my job as a host change my life again? well, I am a freelance translator and a country host for a very well known sponsorship program in my country. Although I could never escape group work presentations, I believe my tasks as a host-interpreter shaped my composure at handling a big crowd or a small number of people with confidence. Whenever we are receiving our visitors in Haiti, I am the front girl. Along with the other hosts, I make sure the visitors feel at ease in the place that we call home even through our hard reality. My hospitality is given naturally as we travel through times with the bits of knowledge that I know in History. However the most important ingredient that I gain from my role,is assisting and being a good interceptor between sponsors (the visitors) with their sponsor children. Helping them in the process of breaking little by little the shyness that comes up first in the surface and bring a transparency that makes their emotions livid as if they were both speaking the same language.
The first time that I had to openly interpret was for sponsors and donors of the organisation. They were a group of ladies who came from Australia and I had to stand up before the National office (aka where I work). The conference room brought my supervisors and a fairly amount of people who knew English very well which meant translation had to be ON SOLID POINT that morning. As I took the microphone to translate for one of the sponsor, I started second guessing my abilities to translate these English sentences to Haitian-Creole. I just got back from Florida then, so I was worried that people would find my Haitian-Creole accent funny because I’ve had the mean comments about how my Creole sounded too Americanized. They were these comments that were playing in full rotation into my mind when I started speaking. I was once again sweating, panicking and kept apologizing to the crowd for messing up, Bruh it was bad.
I am happy to tell you that I wasn’t fired from that experience however I learn from it and kept firm that I would go places even if my Haitian Creole sounded funny to other Haitians. The first thing that I decided to master is remaining calm when I am about to go in front of a crowd at church or in front of a classroom. Another thing that I did was removing the mean comments on how my creole sounded funny and focused on talking till I sounded local. Before I go up front to a public with a sponsor or speaker, I take a little time to chit chat and have an idea of what will be talked about that way my words won’t be scattered. I’ve been progressing ever since that awful experience and noticed that being in the front of a crowd isn’t so bad after all even it’s translating the thoughts of someone else in another language. If my youth choir from back then would ask me to lead that choir in prayers, hey I would so do it now without wishing to be eaten by the ground 🙂
So what are the things that are now doing that you would never guess that you’re doing now?
It’s All Love