Sunday, August 19, 2007

E is for EFL

Or English as a Foreign Language.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to try to use my language skills, such as they are. Way back in 1981 I went to London and worked as a domestic slave (also known as an "au-pair") for a year, while attending Hammersmith and West London College studying EFL. It was a very interesting year in which I learned a lot, not least about myself.
I realized quite soon that my domestic skills weren't all one had hoped for - I failed to see the importance of dusting and hoovering every single day of the week, and this is unfortunately something I still haven't managed to get my head around... Still, the job was only my means of getting to stay for a year, and I knew what I was getting myself in for, so no worries there. Through attending college I gained lots of friends, some of which I still keep in touch with. Some were English and some from other countries - I didn't seem to lack destinations to travel to for years after that. In my class there were people from most European countries and some from Japan and Hong Kong as well. We all came from different backgrounds, but through a shared experience we became great friends.
In the blogosphere it is a bit like that too - people from all parts of the world and all different backgrounds meet to share parts of our lives, what we do and what we think about. Friendships are made and visits, real or virtual, are arranged. Simmy, for instance has just returned to England from a holiday in the US visiting blogfriends and their families and had a wonderful time, it seems. Lolly is taking us with her to visit Peru, and shared a story full of suspense of how she and her husband were separated and managed to find each other again during the recent earthquake - I was not the only one who smiled through tears when she came to that point of her story! We get to share Amanda's proud and happy rendition of her little daughter's first sentence, and after so many posts about Alicia's lovely dog Audrey, more than a thousand comments on the post announcing the dear doggy's death shows that craft bloggers are a compassionate lot. I'm happy to be a part of this community and feel that I get more insight into how the rest of the world lives, what people feel and think, only to discover that we are not so different after all.

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