Preparing for Summer


Josefina Luna is one of the kindest, warmest, friendliest women I've ever met. We started talking one day when we were both waiting to be let into the office, before I was given my own key. She speaks fragmented English, but it's a thousand times better than my broken Spanish. Still, she's been nice enough to teach me Spanish words and speak slowly to me in longer sentences so that I can understand her.

Yesterday, she told me the story of her life. In the Dominican Republic (her native country), she was an accountant. She said she focused mainly on auditing, which she loved. She had her own car and her own apartment.

Then the IMF decided it was time for the Dominican Republic to pay back its debts. The DR government didn't have the money, so it taxed middle and upper class people (Josefina was middle class). She became impoverished, so she moved to the United States. Here, she tried to get several accounting jobs, with no luck. Then, she tried to work as a manager at a factory, but she was rejected as being "overqualified." She removed her accounting experience from her resume and tried again. This time she was hired, but as a laborer. She had to get up at 5 a.m. to take the bus to the factory for work.

Now, she works at SEDC as a meal site worker. She prepares and serves food to elderly Meals on Wheels clients who are transported to SEDC three days a week during the lunch hour. She works only part-time, and she can't afford a car. She needs to take a test to be certified as a public accountant in the U.S., but her English is too limited for her to score well.

I feel like there must be a solution somewhere, but I can't think of it.

Anyways, right now I'm trying to make the file of the SEDC logo larger. It's a .jpg file now, and it has a low resolution, and I've been told that what we need is the original vector file. If we have that file, then we can blow up the logo as big as we want on a sign, poster, etc. Unfortunately, there's been so much staff turnover here that we have no idea who originally designed the logo. I called a local print company, and they said they can redraw the logo for us and put it into vector form, but the charge will be $100/hour. They estimate the time at 2-3 hours. We can't afford to pay that, and I certainly can't redraw it myself, so I don't know what we can do.

Also, I'm updating the website with new events, and I wrote a new version of the newsletter describing the SEDC Cambodian and Lao New Year event in April. I'm working on putting together an informational movie about SEDC and the work it does in the community.

Fortunately, we have a new 15-member Board of Directors, and we should have a permanent Executive Director by the end of the month. My supervisor is one of two candidates for the position, so I'm rooting for him, but we'll see what the Board decides.