Translation Problems or how I am having trouble with politics

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July 10th 2011
Published: July 11th 2011
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My internship supervisor just reduced her hours and I have to say it’s rather weird to go into work and not have here be there every day. In addition to the fact that she is my supervisor and usually the one to give me jobs, she’s also a friend and I miss being able to chat with her or go to lunch. She ended up getting a part time job at a hostel on the beach. I’m happy for her as it really seemed like the work at Windows was starting get to her.

There are two types of work at Windows that I’ve noticed. One is tedious and bureaucratic, such as writing USAID reports (if I never see on of those reports again it will be too soon) or xeroxing financial information to send to the accountant. The other kind is more interesting but can also be heartbreaking, such as reading and translating the youths’ letters.

I am extremely happy to be at this internship though. I feel like I’ve mentioned this in every single blog I’ve written but its true. I love the people, they are incredibly understanding and actually care about how you’re feeling, they don’t just ask because of ingrained politeness. There is so much for me to do to. I am rarely bored, unless I find the task boring for some reason. I’ve learned about grant writing, USAID reports, newsletters, and fundraising.

Just last week we got a new intern. Of course with his arrival we also lost Anais, our tiny little intern from France (and I’m not joking she is tiny, for anyone who knows me, she is a good four inches shorter than me). Anais was a real sweetheart and I’m going to miss her. Josep is the new intern and is from Spain. I don’t always get his sense of humor and he doesn’t always understand my American idioms but that’s to be expected, something almost always gets lost in translation.

The only thing that annoyed me was his attitude about my political beliefs. He friended me on facebook and saw that I was a conservative. He got really weird and asked if I was a Republican. I said yes and he started to berate me almost. He asked if I had voted for Bush and even after I said I hadn’t been old enough he kept asking, almost as if he thought I was going to change my mind.

We then go into it on health care. He asked why I thought it was acceptable to pay if I needed medical care and I tried to explain the co-pay system. It didn’t really seem to matter what I said though he was very set in his ideas. It was nice though, Rutie stepped in and asked Josep to please remember to respect my opinions while having this discussion. I really appreciate this, as I know that she is very liberal.

I think the biggest problem with trying to explain why I am liberal is the cultural context. I try to explain why I think the way I do but I can never truly explain to people my desire for individualism and the pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality that many people in America have. I just don’t think these ideas translate well. I don’t honestly know if these values are important in Spain, as I don’t know much about Spain’s domestic policies.


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