As some of you may already know, I run two social groups in Toronto with a combined membership of 1230+ members and hosted a total 133 events, not too shabby for a hobby. However I have been thinking of going back to the original reason why I joined meetup.com: To learn Spanish.
You see, I first joined meetup a few years ago due to my slowly disappearing Spanish skills. I had moved to Canada 15 years before and was loosing it. Loosing sucha beautiful language is like loosing a part of your past, a part of your being. As I had no one to practice with, I decided to google a way to do so in Toronto.
To make a long story short, I found myself at the front door of The Toronto Spanish Language Meetup Group–or something named like that– about three years ago. Soon, I was helping run it although in the end I simply did not have the time, so I relinquished control to someone named John and that was that.
Fast forward two years. The group still existed however now in a moribund shadow of its former self. Even though it was one of the larger groups (850+ members) in Toronto, the number of events had crawled to about one every seven months. Can you imagine that? Yeah… I know, party time!
The organizer at the time, the one who is supposed to post and host events was MIA for months. Apparently, saving the whales or whatever may entail a seven month sabbatical. So after finding his email address, I offered to take it over. He refused. Sadly the reason was not very clear to me, something to to with the previous organizer not wanting for him to give up his organizer responsibilities. Okay. So two weeks later, he gave up the position on his own. Go figure.
I immediately jumped at the chance. Annexed, revamped it and decided to make it not only a tool for me to learn but to anyone and everyone else. It’s all about the good Karma, right? I was a bit worried the group was beyond repair, but there is nothing that can be achieved without some elbow grease. Thus so far, it seems to be working, my first event had 27 members show up! Second? 38! Third? 44!
What is it that we do, you ask? Primarily we chat. Somewhat anticlimactic since there is only one rule in the group: You can and must only communicate in Spanish. But our repertoire of types of events is growing, watching some Spanish movies and some dancing. Indeed it may seem daunting to those who are learning the language and are on their way in. However I have found one the best ways to learn any language is to simply immerse in such environment where you are forced to use it as often as possible. Whether you like it or not! Call it conversational sink or swim or the Spanish mother of invention or my personal favourite: Linguistic Darwinism. I baptize thy and copyright thy too.
If you would like to learn and more importantly practice your Spanish then come out. Not only you practice another language, meet new friends. Events are held at least on a bi-weekly basis if not weekly. You cannot loose! To start, click here: Toronto’s Spanish Group.
A hablar Español se a dicho!