Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Teaching and Learning Together!

At class this week we brought in two large maps: one of the world and one of the United States. One student seemed to understand the maps and general geography fairly well, as he was the first to point out Bhutan and Nepal. We discussed the different continents, countries, and oceans, taking time to spell out each one. Also, we practiced cardinal directions by directing each other to countries on the map. I was surprised that so many of our students had family in other American states and all over the world. Another student excitedly pointed to different states stating such titles as “mother brother,” “brother sister”, or “in-law” to describe the relations she had in each state she recognized. By the end of the class, the United States map was populated by shiny star stickers affixed to each recognizable state that housed family members.
-Camille (U of A honors college Intern)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tucson Meet Yourself

Tucson Meet Yourself went off this weekend without a hitch, in other words, it was incredible! So many people and so many cultures. I enjoyed walking past a Swedish table representing my heritage, but I was on my way to the Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network table. On my way I passed many food vendors. I especially enjoyed my Samosas at the Guryasamo booth.

The many smiling faces brought a good feeling to my heart, as everyone was so different from each other and equally enjoying themselves I felt I could also enjoy myself. These kinds of events are why I do what I do.

Oh, and did I mention the fantastic smells of all the food! If anyone missed out on this event I hope the sublime look on her face as she smells her corn makes you jealous. Mark your calender, this is an annual event!

In this picture you can see two friends exchanging interest in one example of Refugee craftwork. They are holding a Burundi Basket weave. Iskashitaa had these on display, and they were available for purchase. The technique behind these handicrafts is fascinating; the basket is made from dried palm leaves and threads of recycled plastic, the leaves are bound into a cord and then spun into a spiral and intricately wrapped in plastic. I was amazed by the patterns they formed.

Walking away from Tucson Meet Yourself, I feel excitement. I'm excited by idea that Iskashitaa connected with many new people through the crafts of Tucson's amazing refugee population. I'm excited to hear if new volunteers will join because of the booth at TMY. Most importantly, I'm excited that people are so involved in their cultures and customs that they work to make Tucson Meet Yourself an annual event. Good job Tucson!

Kenny Nelson

Iskashitaa Intern

Friday, October 8, 2010

Tucson Meet Yourself is starting today! Please make it a point to support these refugee entrepreneurs!

Food Vendors:

Sahra Hirsi will be selling Somali food including sambusas and Somali tea at the Guryasamo stand near the library.

Sultan Palace, a local refugee-owned business, will sell Afghani food.

Iskashitaa Refugee Sewing and Crafts Circle (IRSCC) will feature Burundi baskets, rag rugs, plarn water bottle holders, and much more for sale, and refugees from many countries will sell and demonstrate how to make these beautiful items. Iskashitaa Refugee Harvesting Network will also have available local fruit and preserved food items from locally gleaned produce. Stop by their booth at Pennington and Church by the library.

The Somali Bantu Association of Tucson, Arizona will have a booth on the grass on the main library plaza. Stop by to learn about SBATA and purchase jewelry.

International Rescue Committee MicroE participants:

Aita Gurung: Demonstration – 10/9-10

Artiest from Bhutan, he would like to demonstrate his art paintings and introduce the Bhutanese art culture.

Charlotte African Tailoring: Demonstration - 10/9-10

Charlotte, a tailor from Congo, will demonstrate her African tailoring styles and introduce her African dresses made for male and female.

Morad Ceramic: Sale - 10/9-10

Morad uses special paints on ceramic bowl, plates and more. This type of art originated in Turkey and called the Art of Izink Ceramic. Morad has learned and master this type of paintings and started his own small workshop business. He is planning to sell his products at Tucson Meet Yourself.

Tatari Import: Sale - - 10/9-10

This is a small family business owned by Ejaz Bhakshi and his wife, who are both from Afghanistan. They sell clothes for men and women, accessories, antiques from the Middle East and other parts of the world.

Paradise Fashion Design: Demonstration – Only Sunday October 10th

Teddy Mambulu is from Congo. He designs and tailors African clothes for men and women.

This is his first year in the USA, and he would like to show his product to the public.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Volunteering at the click of a button!

Volunteering with Iskashitaa has never been quicker or easier! Iskashitaa now has all of our events listed on the internet with quick links to signup sheets. All our wonderful volunteers need to do, is go to our website: and click on the events tab. Now you can sign up for all of our fun events at anytime of the day or night. Our volunteer coordinator will update you as the event gets closer and if you decide you cannot come, just return to our website and “undo” your signup. Don’t forget to check back often because we are always finding new ways to spread our mission throughout Tucson and we cannot do it without your help!