An Interview with Haneen
When did you start volunteering at TYO?
I started volunteering here when TYO first opened its doors in 2008. I love it so much and my family jokes that I spend more time here than I do at home!
How did you learn about TYO?
A friend told me about TYO and about potential translator positions. TYO relies heavily on word of mouth, so I’m always raving about the incredible programming they offer here.
What classes have you translated for previously?
I’ve translated for photography, art, Women’s IT, Women’s Aerobics and Women’s Nutrition.
Which class is your favorite thus far?
My favorite is Women’s Aerobics! But I honestly love all of the classes. I love working with women because we are the same age, many of us mothers. I also find them very funny! We love socializing and chatting about our kids, husbands and daily issues both before and after class. Many of these women have become my friends and it’s a pleasure to work with them.
I enjoy working with the kids too. I used to talk about how much I disliked kids, but now that I’m working with them for the first time this session, I’ve had a change of heart. The kids have grown on me and now I see them as if they were my own. I think that because I am a mother myself, I know how to be nurturing and calm around them, which can really help in the classroom.
Why do you keep coming to TYO?
I love having the chance to practice my English and work with native English speakers. But besides that, I love the TYO family and the people who work here. It has become a comfortable place for me. It’s my home away from home.
What’s your favorite thing about being a translator?
I love learning new words, phrases and expressions! For example, this summer, I learned the expression “No pain, no gain” from Samin during Women’s Aerobics. I also appreciate the cultural exchange that comes with working with international interns. I especially lovelearning about different foods from around the world! I hope TYO has another Women’s Nutrition class because I loved making new and different dishes.
How has this experience benefitted you?
Working here has definitely strengthened my personality. I am more confident and not as shy as I used to be. I am so thankful for the people I have met and continue to meet here. I love the staff, interns, volunteers, moms and kids who come to TYO.