Author: Kaitlyn Bowles
Interviews…
| November 28, 2010 | 11:26 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

So I have finally finished my fourth interview. It was with the Brazilian Bookstore owner, Neri de Souza. Although it took a really long time for me to finally get the interview, he was very helpful and cooperative once we sat down to interview.

However, the interview I had before this, with a Christian Nepalese Pastor, is the one that really sticks out to me. Although he was unfortunately located in Sullivan Square, so it didn’t apply as much to the Greenline extension, he gave me a lot of information that I would have never learned about the Nepalese community in Somerville, and the history of Christianity in Nepal. Also, what I found interesting is the name of his church…The Greater Boston Nepali Church. It has almost the same website (www.gbnc.us)as the one Alexis noted earlier on this thread (www.gbnc.org), and was intentionally designed as a vague, but encompassing, title.

Making Contacts
| October 13, 2010 | 12:12 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

Over the past couple weeks I have found a variety of churches that, ideally, I would like to speak to people at. Unfortunately, as expected, they are a bit difficult to get in contact with. The first day that I attempted to find willing churches, I visited the Japanese Christian Church and the Foursquare Church on Somerville Avenue. I talked to two woman at the Japanese church who seemed interested in the project; however, the pastor wasn’t around. I got the number for the pastor so I could call him later. Of course, when I called him, he didn’t pick up, but I did leave a message, so hopefully, that will come through. I also went into the Foursquare church, but unfortunately, they were having gospel practice, so I was a little too intimidated to wait around. I did also get a number for them, but had to leave a message. I got  a number for those two churches as well as for the New Vision Church on Medford Street and Grace Gospel Church on Washington Street. The only person I have been able to talk to is someone at Grace Gospel Church, so hopefully that will develop into an interview.

Thus far the work has been a bit discouraging, but now that I have the numbers for a variety of churches, I am hoping that I can make some progress. Last week’s evening with the LIPS students also encouraged me, because I think that they will be very helpful, especially in my project. I hope that we will get the list of LIPS contacts together soon so I will be able to contact some of them. I talked to a few of them last week that regularly go to church, so that might be a good source of connection. Additionally, I know that there will likely be a language barrier at the Foursquare and Grace Gospel churches, so the LIPS students could really help.

Kaitlyn Bowles’ Bio
| September 14, 2010 | 9:45 pm | Uncategorized | No comments

Hi! My name is Kaitlyn Stork Bowles and I am a junior at Tufts. I am majoring in Anthropology and Community Health. While not in class, I fill my time with Rugby and Mock Trial and also volunteer at the Mystic Learning Center in Somerville. I am originally from a small town in Northern California called Lafayette; a suburb of San Francisco. I grew up living with my parents and my older sister. However, I am lucky that I also have two half-brothers, a step-sister and a step-brother. They are all older than I am, and three of them even have kids (I am an aunt seven times over). Needless to say, there were always many family members around when I was living at home, and they all played a large role in my upbringing.

Although my family wasn’t too keen on traveling to the places I was most interested in (Africa, India, China…), I was fortunate enough to travel a lot as a kid. My interests in exploring the world and volunteering lead me to Zimbabwe three years ago. I think that was the first time in my life that I had been in the minority for an extended period of time and the first time that I had been in a developing country without my family. During that trip I interacted with a lot of different individuals and ultimately made a documentary of my time there. After Zimbabwe I was hooked. I learned so much from the people I met there even though their lives are so much different than my own. I was infatuated with their traditions and culture, which is part of the reason I ended up being an Anthropology major.

I was originally on the waitlist for this class, and I don’t think I would have been so adamant about staying in the class if I did not have the experiences that I had this summer. As I mentioned in class, this summer I was an intern for the Somerville Homeless Coalition. For the first couple of weeks we had the daunting task of updating the Somerville Resource Directory. Although calling every service provider in the Somerville/Cambridge area was quite the job, it helped me learn a lot about the resources available. This came in quite handy when we started doing interviews. My fellow interns and I completed over 150 interviews with people who were in need of some sort of service (food, housing, employment…). We conducted the interviews in a variety of sites around Somerville so we got to know Davis Square and East Somerville quite well. However, before this summer I had never really taken note of the distinction between East and West Somerville, nor did I know my way to and/or around East Somerville. Now that I have worked with an array of service providers in East Somerville, I feel far more comfortable exploring it. In the past six months I have learned more about Somerville, and the range of people living here, than I know about Lafayette, where I lived for eighteen years. However, even though I have learned a lot about Somerville, I think that there is a lot I have yet to learn about, particularly in regards to the immigrant population.


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