Thursday, November 24, 2016

San Francisco and ATA 57

I left home alone for almost a week. I did. I had a hard time believing it all came together, and no one came down with a fever, the flu or a broken limb in the minutes before my departure, but they didn't and I did. I attended the 57th Annual American Translators' Association Conference in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago.The conference is for interpreters and translators; from all over the world. Taken altogether with the venue, the course offerings and the attendees, it was truly a feast for a language-lover's mind and soul!

My first trip to California; the ferry back across the bay after a bikeride over the Golden Gate
Here are a few highlights; advocacy; or why I am an interpreter. My every day work does not allow for advocacy in any form, but just by being present and remaining true to the message I convey from one party to another, I am a part of the right side. 
Making sure the people who need the services have access to them is the first step. Presentations by James Dickens of the Office of Minority Health in the US Dept. of Health and Human Services on C.L.A.S., and by the folks at The Community Interpreter addressed both healthcare disparities and the need for culturally sensitive treatment and ethical behavior on the part of an interpreter. 
French translation, visit with my Auntie and Godmother and the whole family, traveling by bicycle in a city and more below...

The Bridge

Lunch with my auntie, my uncle and (above) my cousin and her three smart, beautiful, charming children. Sausalito. 

Golden Gate Park: Botanical Gardens

Saying farewell to Auntie Margie and tiny Keewi
Golden Gate Park: Japanese Tea Garden

Not yarn; but oh my; the colors of embroidery floss!

A favorite San Francisco moment: reading poetry upstairs at City Lights

The "had to do before leaving" lunch with my adorable roommate; fish n' chips at Fisherman's Wharf

Half of my mother's family lives in the Bay Area, or the other side of the bridge, so getting together was, naturally, a priority, while I was there. The last time they visited Iowa was about fourteen years ago. It was like old times, with new characters thrown in. It was the best! I met first with my aunt and we strolled around Sausalito, after we found a spot to stash my bike for the day. We met my cousin next; outside the restaurant, holding my brand new second cousin! She is so sweet, and adorable, it was heaven. Then we joined my uncle and the two brothers of baby; all perfect charmers. The boys wanted to talk politics, it was the eve of the presidential election, but my aunt had forbidden the topic. They found ingenious ways of bringing it up was cute. Thank you for a fantastic time, all of you!
Later, I took the ferry back to San Francisco. I had to almost dare myself to do it, but I was determined to bike across the bridge and find my way to a cafe in Sausalito...and I did.  I  practiced first by biking around SFC on Wednesday. I got lost for three hours, in the neighborhoods they don't show you in Disney movies, then found Golden Gate Park, the Presidio (or the Royal Fortress of St.Francis) and the whole beautiful way back along the bay. What a day! I ended up having my first shoe shine too; my boots needed some serious work after the dust and dirt of the day. I don't think I will ever have a public shoe shine again; too high up, too public, but my boots still look great, two weeks later. 

I attended a couple of translation sessions, just to delve more into other topics. The one I particularly enjoyed was by Luc Labelle on elegant English>French translation. It made me think, stretch the brain a bit, hmmm, a lot, I guess, like when I was still in school. 

I shared a hotel room for the first time since college, with incredible roomies; three the first night; from Mexico, Boston and Germany, and two the rest of the week from Argentina and Mexico. We CELEBRATED the Cubs winning the World Series together, commiserated over the downside of our diverse professions and tried out new dining experiences all over the city.

Thank you to my family; for the extra work this caused, the sacrifice of a normal week in your life, and to the attendees who made this an experience to remember. It was!

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