Welcome back to the Esperanto blog at Transparent Language! I’m a new blogger here, so I’d like to quickly introduce myself. I’m Chuck Smith, originally from the United States, but now living in Berlin, Germany. To give you a taste of what you’ll be seeing from this blog, I started learning Esperanto in February 2001, then that summer attended Esperanto meetings in San Francisco and New York. Later that year I combined a trip to visit the largest board game fair in Essen, Germany with a visit to a local international Esperanto meeting nearby in Krefeld while staying with an Esperanto host!
Later that year, I started the Wikipedia in Esperanto which now has over 125,000 articles and has led an important role in the multilingual development of the project in general. The following summer, I got tired of living the corporate life in a cubicle and decided to take off for a month to Brazil to visit the International Youth Congress (Internacia Junulara Kongreso – IJK) and then the Universal Congress(Universala Kongreso – UK). After that, I spent 5 months backpacking through 14 countries in Europe, staying with Esperanto speakers for free along the way!
While staying with friends in Belgrade, Serbia, I was invited to be the TEJO volunteer in Rotterdam for a year. There I worked alongside the most fluent Esperanto speakers in the world as I answered letters from members, worked with other European organizations and helped promote Esperanto worldwide. We regularly would meet twice a day for a kafopaŭzo (coffee break) where we would discuss everything we were working on as well as just to take a break from the office work.
After that I worked for 3 months in the Calgary Esperanto Center in Canada, helping to promote Esperanto locally as well as teaching the advanced Esperanto class. Unfortunately the center is no longer around, but its professionalism and ideals have always inspired me to a higher level of Esperanto activism. After this whirlwind of Esperanto activity, I returned to my life as a computer programmer, except now I work as a freelance iPhone developer. I stay active with Esperanto as I’m the current president of the local Berlin Esperanto Youth and write this blog for Transparent Language to share my knowledge with the world!
With my work here for the local Berlin Esperanto Youth, I hope to inspire you with our activities which you could also use in your local club. This year we have plans to go out for a picnic, have a communal cooking evening, show movies with Esperanto subtitles, and play board games. Not every activity will appeal to everyone, so we try to keep things varied to attract different people on different days and keep the club vibrant.
In the coming months, I’ll be writing more about a lot of my experiences as well as trivial tidbits of Esperanto culture, news about upcoming events, how to speed up your Esperanto learning, and more! I look forward to discovering what you’d like to read most and keep you up-to-date with everything happening in the Esperanto world. Til next time – Ĝis la revido!