Last week was a first for me. I Skyped my interview with Abby Williamson in Asuncion, Paraguay. Abby is an ELF, an English Language Fellow, a position funded by the U.S. State Department to train natives, mostly from third world countries, to teach English.
Abby arrived at her current position in stages. After graduating from the University of Colorado with a Spanish major, she taught second grade in Williamsburg, Va., for three years. But she is a Williamson with foreign travel in her genes, and so she left Williamsburg for a year in Prague. While there, she received a degree in teaching English as a foreign language. This new degree qualified her to teach English as a second language to Brazilian students at the Tisbury School in Vineyard Haven. During her three-year tenure at the Tisbury School, she completed the course work at U Mass for a master’s degree in applied linguistics. This impressive resume qualified her to become an ELF. The state department assigned her a posting in Paraguay.
For the last year and a half, Abby has traveled throughout Paraguay training native Paraguayans to teach English. She also works closely with the U.S. embassy there. In this capacity, she recently organized a conference in Asuncion for 800 English teachers from throughout South America. In addition, the embassy has arranged speaking engagements for her in several Latin American countries.
Abby will be returning to East Chop next week to visit her parents, Chrissy and Woods. If you happen to run into her, be sure to congratulate her on being our special ambassador to South America.
Fifty years ago courts one and two at the Tennis Club were reserved for older men. I remember as a teenager when I was first asked to play with them. My ship had come in. Now our grandkids sign up and play on them. This change is not hard to explain. The remaining six courts have all had makeovers. Three of these makeovers were accomplished this spring under the watchful eye of President Sue Collinson. Sue’s tenure as president ended last Saturday. Please thank her for a job very well done.
In a similar vein, Paul Hyzak ended his term as president of the Beach Club on Saturday. We thank him for all of his hard work and for bringing us that wonderful newsletter. We will miss his sense of humor at membership meetings and his optimistic can-do spirit.
Finally, it’s amazing how good things often happen together. Last week I thanked Howard Sashin for picking up trash on the beach. Three days later I discovered another Good Samaritan. Sis Carroll walks the Chop daily with trash bag in hand. When I asked her about it, she revealed that a few years back she received $136 at the redemption center for her efforts. Nice going, Sis!