Gotta love al­ge­bra – but not rugby

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Teenager Yesica Ospina Orosco is look­ing for­ward to get­ting stuck into some al­ge­bra in 2011. Yes, re­ally. The 13-year-old Colom­bian is ready to again walk through the gates of Porirua’s Bishop Viard Col­lege.

Yesica, her two sib­lings and mother Cle­men­cia live in Can­nons Creek. They ar­rived in New Zealand mid­way through last year, flee­ing armed con­flict be­tween the govern­ment, para­mil­i­tary and guerilla groups, and the ev­er­p­re­sent spec­tre of drugs, in their home­land.

They are one of 13 Colom­bian fam­i­lies who have set­tled in Porirua, with two more due to ar­rive this month.

Yesica al­ready had a taste then of life in New Zealand, and school, and can­not wait to be­gin her stud­ies again. While her English is com­ing along well, through English as a Sec­ond Lan­guage classes, Mag­gie Rap­son from Refugee Ser­vices was kind enough to give up her time as an in­ter­preter for Kapi-Mana News.

Colom­bia will al­ways be home for Yesica, where they have left fam­ily be­hind, but they are de­ter­mined to make the most of the sec­ond chance of­fered by our govern­ment.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing in New Zealand is nice and peo­ple are very friendly.

‘‘It is more re­lax­ing for me and my fam­ily. It was hard in the be­gin­ning to get new friends but the teach­ers [at Viard] help me and I’m be­gin­ning to learn the lan­guage.

‘‘I en­joy meet­ing new peo­ple and learn­ing about a new cul­ture.’’

Ex­pres­sions like ‘‘ you know’’ and ‘‘no wor­ries’’ are be­com­ing more com­mon in the out­go­ing teenager’s vo­cab­u­lary, thanks to Kiwi friends bring­ing her up to speed on our ver­nac­u­lar.

At school, Yesica, a year 10 stu­dent, en­joys the fact that there is PE ev­ery day, sub­jects like in­for­ma­tion technology, cook­ing and French are on of­fer, and the hours are more reg­u­lar.

In Colom­bia, stu­dents at dif­fer­ent aca­demic lev­els study at dif- fer­ent times of the day and night.

Yesica has a ques­tion for KapiMana News you don’t of­ten hear from a 13-year-old.

‘‘At what level do you do study al­ge­bra?’’

She has a gen­uine in­ter­est in maths, and it high­lights her de­sire to get stuck into school­work in her adopted coun­try.

While ac­tiv­i­ties like volleyball, swim­ming and rollerblad­ing oc­cupy her free time, she is un­likely to ex­tend her sport­ing flair to our na­tional game. ‘‘Rugby is strange. ‘‘Ev­ery­one owns a rugby ball and walks around with one.

‘‘I tried to play but they seemed to change the rules all the time and I just throw it [the ball] away when peo­ple are chas­ing me.’’

Look­ing to learn: Yesica Ospina Orosco re­sumes her stud­ies at Bishop Viard Col­lege this week. She is one of a num­ber of Colom­bian stu­dents at­tend­ing the school. She says while the Colom­bians stick to­gether, they have made many Kiwi friends since ar­riv­ing in this coun­try.

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