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June 2019 - Azure Akamay

An extraordinarily dedicated student whose passion for everything she does is inspiring, Azure has achieved great progress in her time at Tierra. Her strong interest in cultural learning has provided fuel in her quest to learn Spanish and she’s eagerly taken as many cultural immersion courses as she can. Through her thoughtful analysis of the topics being discussed, she brings depth and reflection to the classroom, enriching the experience for all present. In her work as a middle school teacher, Azure is able to harness her increased cultural awareness in order to better serve her students and transmit this consciousness to them. A kind and compassionate classmate, she often encourages others and helps make Tierra feel like a community.  We salute Azure and all educators who work so hard to give young people the tools and knowledge they need to thrive - we wish you all a wonderful Summer break!

Name: Azure Akamay
Occupation: 6th grade teacher
Time Studying at Tierra: 1 year and a half

1) Why are you studying Spanish?

"I began taking classes at Tierra because I wanted to push past the traveler-basics level that I had been stuck at for years, into the kind of fluency that would allow me to both express and access more nuanced, complicated, and interesting ideas in Spanish.
Beyond that, it is important to me to regularly try to step outside of my own linguistic and cultural comfort zone. I am interested in forging authentic connections with people in Spanish speaking communities within Portland and beyond."

2) What is your favorite part about your experience here at Tierra?

"Coming to Tierra is the highlight of my week. When I get home from class my mind is flooded with new ideas — sometimes about grammar and syntax, and other times about Mexican land reform policies, Chilean folk music, or Mesoamerican mythology about the afterlife. It’s so purely enjoyable. I love how reading, writing, speaking, and listening at a more advanced level than before is challenging me to reconstruct the infrastructure of my language mind!"

3) Can you tell us of a time you have been able to use what you have learned studying here?

"I use my Spanish all the time now! I am a teacher so I have been able to use Spanish with my students. I listen to Mexican news radio to get a different perspective on world events. I have also recently done some volunteer work in Tijuana with asylum seekers and my Spanish language skills allowed me to be a much stronger support than I would have been able to be otherwise."

¡Felicidades Azure!