Over the years, I’ve used Craigslist often.
–> I’ve used it to get a job: DUI counseling center secretary, Episcopal church administrator, Tennis camp counselor and more.
–> I’ve used it to buy and sell stuff: bookcases, TVs, etc.
–> I’ve considered and then chickened out of using it for rideshares.
These days, with my ample free time between graduating and beginning service with the Peace Corps (No, I still don’t know where I’m going) I’ve been using Craigslist in a new way: to look for volunteer activities that I can do while I pass the summer in here NorCal. So far I’ve inquired about and been rejected for a couple of paid studies, signed up to volunteer at the finish line of a triathlon and connected with a local nursing student who is looking to improve his English.
This last volunteer activity has been the most interesting so far. This guy, who I’ll call Zutroj, is a former member of the Uzbekistan national Judo team. Tiring of religious persecution in Uzbekistan, he defected to the US and helped train the US national judo team for several years before pursuing a career as an RN in the Bay Area.
His English is quite good so when we meet we just chat normally except for when I take a moment to correct his speech or for him to write down a new word or saying. Zutroj explained that because of his former career as an athlete, he is used to “most hard work” and so I must be “very hard” on him. I’m trying my best to be a demanding teacher.So far, I’ve learned about various Russian/American Olympic wrestling matches, discussed the difficulty of religious pluralism in Uzbekistan which is increasingly controlled by hardline Muslims and lamented how difficult it has been for Zutroj to find consistent and patient English conversation partners here, despite being surrounded by English speakers.
Zutroj and I have plans to continue meeting for English classes while I’m in America. I’m looking forward to it!