Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 29, 2012
This week was the first time I was able to harvest with refugees and I quickly learned that working with them makes harvesting much more fun. Pro volunteer Joanne brought three refugee women from Bhutan to harvest with us, and one refuge from the Congo came. These are countries I’ve only ever read about and they seem so mysterious to me. It was interesting to hear from the women what their native countries were like, especially when compared to Tucson. I can only imagine what a shock it must be to move from those tropical regions to the desert of the Southwest. Trying to communicate with the refugees made me realize what a difficult transition coming to the United States must be for them. They impressed me with how quickly they are learning and adapting to life here. It would be so difficult to try to learn a language, get a job, pay for housing and food, and take care of a family in a foreign country. I left the Friday harvest with increased respect and understanding for all refugees learning to live in the United States.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
However, while teaching has been fulfilling, some of our most rewarding experiences have not been in the classroom at all. While in the process of recruiting students, we had the opportunity to visit some of the refugees in their homes. I greatly enjoyed getting to meet the families of some of our students, including drinking juice with them and watching a Nepali film, as well as hearing a little bit about their lives here. I hope that as this semester continues I will have more opportunities to build relationships with out students outside the classroom and be able to learn more about their culture and lives from them.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Refugee 101 Information Night: Thursday, February 9th (6:00pm - 8:00pm)
Come learn more about refugee life, communicating in different languages, and refugee work. Anyone who wants information can attend and attendance does not commit you to serve. The training is at St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Rd. Please RSVP with the firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Harvests: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Interested in harvesting oranges, tangerines, tangelos, grapefruit and other citrus? Contact email@example.com to harvest all the best produce of this winter. We always need drivers and helpers!
Food Preservation Workshops: 2nd and 4th Fridays (January 27, February 10 and 24)
Do you like local foods? Love cooking? Like to snack, talk, and meet new people? Then our harvesting and food preservation is the perfect volunteer position for you! Food Preservation workshops with refugees and Iskashitaa include: pumpkin chutney, citrus juices and zests, marmalades every 2nd and 4th Fridays at St Francis in the Foothills. Learn about new foods, techniques, and cross cultural traditions. Come for an hour come for half the day! If you are interested in volunteering please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sewing Redistribution day: Friday, February 3rd (11:00am - 2:00pm)
THIS EVENT MOVED PERMANENTLY TO THE OASIS APARTMENTS AT 306 E. Navajo #1106
The generous donations of volunteers and friends of Iskashitaa have led to a VERY full storage shed and we want to get those donations back out to our refugee friends! As usual, we cannot do this without your help! Interested in helping give rides to refugees, organize materials the day of and hand out materials? Please contact email@example.com if you would like to help out!
St. Francis in the Foothills Crafts' Market: 2nd and 4th Sundays (8:30am - 11:30am)
Every second and fourth Sunday, our products are for sale at St. Francis in the Foothills, 4625 E. River Road. Come and browse our handmade crafts!
Tapestry of Tucson: Saturday February 4th (10:00am - 4:00pm)
This vibrant and cultural event, will take place February 4th, 2012, at Dunbar Cultural Center, 325 W. 2nd Street, Tucson, Arizona, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Door $5 single, $10 family, children 12 and under FREE. Interested in being part of the event as an Iskashitaa volunteer? Contact Lizbeth at firstname.lastname@example.orgEntertainment will include:Strolling Mariachis, Dancers: Folkloricos, Modern Dancers, Zumba, West African Dance, Sunflower Bhutanese Dancers, Puppet show, Vignettes featuring: guitar players, singers and performers
Swimming Program: Saturdays (11:00am - 1:00pm)
Iskashitaa is offering free lessons for refugees who are in 3rd grade or older! The classes begin on January 7th and run through March 17th. They are every Saturday morning. If you are interested in learning to swim or volunteering with the program please contact Elizabeth McMahon at email@example.com for information.
Peace Fair: February 25 (9:00am - 2:00pm)
This event will take place at Reid Park. If you would like to join us contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more information!
Sunday, January 22, 2012
What a great first week with Iskashitaa! As the new intern for Iskashitaa harvesting, I’ve spent the past 5 days learning all about coordinating a harvest. There are so many small details to remember but thankfully I have Mike and my fellow intern Annie to show me the ropes. Much of my time was spent contacting refugees to volunteer in our Friday afternoon harvest. The language barrier is difficult, but I’ve learned that a few key words, like “Iskashitaa”, “fruit”, and “harvest”, are well understood. I’m hoping that as I continue calling refugees searching for volunteers, my cross-cultural communication will improve and I will start to develop personal relationships with them. Unfortunately, no refugees were able to join us for the harvest Friday, but we had a great team of volunteers harvesting grapefruits, oranges, and kumquats. Picking citrus on a beautiful afternoon was a great way to get out of the classroom and get my hands dirty and I can’t wait for next week. Annie and I will be harvesting every Friday from 2-4 so come out and join us, we’d love to work with you!
Thursday, January 19, 2012
by Tucker Wiedenkeller, HCET Intern
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Challenge the reaching
Socks hold to limbs better
Shoes left in the soil.
Thickness of branches
Unwind the neat hair
Thorns grab at the saris
Then wadded and downed.
Giggles the language
Of both spry and less
Sweetness of action
The harvesting prize.
By Joanna Farrow
Modified by Iskashitaa’s AZ Refugee Project VISTA team from Phx and Tucson- “Fun with Fruit for VISTAs”
Ø 2 lbs. uncooked pumpkin, deseeded
Ø 4 local torpedo onions or the equivalent of one large yellow onion, chopped
Ø ¼ cup chopped dried apples after rehydration
Ø 1¼ cup mixture (if possible) of raisins, halved dried cherries & chopped dried figs
Ø 1 ¾ cups local cactus, citrus or pomegranate vinegar
Ø 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
Ø 1 ½ oz fresh ginger, grated using micro planes
Ø 2 teaspoons salt
Ø 1 tsp ground coriander
Ø 1 cinnamon stick, and or cinnamon powder
Ø Zest of one medium orange directly into pot
Ø 4 loquat halves without seed or sepals
Pumpkin station: bowl for pumpkin meat, bucket or large container with garbage bag for compost, tablecloth, cutting boards
1. Take ½ blue Cinderella pumpkin (precooked). Cut into chunks or scoop out half of a pumpkin meat without skin or seeds, or stringy fibers into pot or bowl. Set aside or bring to kitchen for chutney cooking.
Chopping station knives, bowl for compost, bowl for loquats, tablecloth, cutting board
Ø 4 torpedo onions or the equivalent of one large yellow onion, chopped
Ø Defuzz washed loquats and deseed loquats and halve –only small amounts needed for each batch
1. In bottom of large, heavy-based saucepan put 1 tbsp of oil and lightly saute onions and add all the remaining ingredients and precooked pumpkin. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat and cook gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until the chutney is thick and pulpy. To check whether the chutney is cooked, draw a wooden spoon through the mixture, it should leave a clean trail on the base of the pan that slowly disappears.
2. Spoon the chutney into sterilized jars and lids. Store in a cool place for a month before using.
Makes 2 ½ lbs- 5 ½ pint jars
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
January 7th marked the date of the begining of the Iskashitaa Swim Program! There were a total of 18 refugees and 13 local volunteers joined us last Saturday for a day of fun and learning in the NW YMCA pool! We had a wonderful time in the sunny 80 degree weather and can't wait to get back next week! If you have a refugee friend who would like to learn to swim, don't worry! Sign ups are due by February 4th for the next 5 week period. For more information, please contact Beth at email@example.com! Want to volunteer? Contact Lizbeth at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
We are always looking for volunteers for our various projects, which include harvesting, sewing/crafts circle, ESL/tutoring, family mentoring and food preservation workshops.
You can sign up directly on our website www.iskashitaa.org (under the events' page) for harvesting, food workshops and community events.