One crisp fall afternoon I was sitting in seat 3B on a major airline at O’Hare International Airport heading to Denver for a business meeting. While reading my ‘Instyle’ magazine (the only time I get to catch up on these things), I heard a commotion behind me. I turned around to see a flight attendant with a sweet older lady crying and holding her purse tightly against her chest. I could not initially hear the conversation yet I knew from the body language that she was very upset. I leaned into the aisle a little bit more to hear a few words that I recognized, it was FRENCH. The woman was talking wildly in French and the flight attendant in English and there was not a single ounce of understanding between the two of them. We were preparing for departure and time was running out. The woman was frustrated, the flight attendant was at her wits end and I knew then what I had to do. I jumped out of my seat and began to talk to the woman in French and ask her what the problem was. As her face softened, she indicated that she was to be on a flight to Montreal to visit her son not Denver and she had no idea how she got onto the wrong plane. I assured her that it was not her fault and that we would get everything corrected for her. Giving a quick translation to the flight attendant she was able to provide assistance and with the help of a customer service agent and they took Madame Balula to the correct airplane. I will never forget the heartfelt hug that Madame Balula gave me that afternoon. I made a difference with my personal passion and knowledge.
I am passionate about foreign language learning and learning about other cultures. I love to bridge the gap between what people have heard and what it is truly like to engage with other cultures. I love guiding people around Paris and showing them the must sees and hidden gems of this unforgettable city. By having a few more resources in your pocket, i.e. knowing another language, a person can really get the feel for and receive the hospitality from another culture. My passion for children to learn foreign languages is apparent everyday of my life, from teaching my son, to speaking a schools and encouraging other mothers so that their children can learn multiple languages too.
Knowing a foreign language fluently like I do builds unbreakable self-confidence. Confidence in your ability to communicate and to learn new things. It also teaches two great lessons:
1. That it is never to late to learn something new
2. To embrace the pursuit of lifelong learning.
Day 2 of the challenge completed! What language will you learn this year?