Originally uploaded by DG N.
I started my volunteering gig today, helping young kids through the Union League Boys and Girls Club. The Cult, as you and I have come to affectionately term it, owns several properties across Chicago, that offer after-school care activities for local school kids. The idea is that the Clubhouse offers the kids a place to come, primarily to do their homework, but also to do arts & crafts, sports classes, and generally just to just muck about in safety after a day cooped up in classes. A cool concept and I am pleased to be part of it.
So tonight I met a Cult representative and we travelled out together to meet the organisers of the Clubhouse that I will be visiting every Tuesday night for the forseeable future. My job will be to supervise "Power Hour", the 60-minute window where I'm supposed to focus the kids on doing their homework. At any one time, I will be supervising 20+ kids aged between 8 and 16. I was joking at work today that I will be fine, just as long as no one asks me any questions about American History. Or Geography. Or Politics. Or Science.
I only spoke to two of the kids today, adorable little girls about 8 years old, and both of them gazed at me open-mouthed, as if I was from another planet. Then they collapsed into a fit of giggles that did not subside until I left the room. Not an altogether unusual reaction by any means, but it made me smile nonetheless. This is going to be a very "interesting" volunteering experience.
The organisers assure me the kids will warm to me. Even more when they get comfortable enough to ask me questions about Australia. My secret mission is to have them all speaking Aussie slang by the end of the year. Or maybe I'll be a bit of a covert Australian Tourism representative and get the kids interested in Aussie animals and plants - I can see papier machied eucalypts and egg carton koalas hanging up all over the art studio already.
And there is an upside for me too, you know. I'll be working in a largely Hispanic neighbourhood. Do I hear "Free Spanish Lessons"?! Muy bien, senorita!