Now I'm a Kiwi | ELPNZ

Now I'm a Kiwi

20 August 2012

My name is Gulchehra Bawari. I am from Afghanistan. My first Language is Dari and I speak Hindi, Urdu and English. I came to New Zealand in 2007 with my husband, mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. When I came I couldn’t speak English.

We had 4 volunteers, 1 man and 3 women. They stayed with us for 6 months. After 6 months, Mr. Bell did not come again but he is a very nice person. Thanks Mr. Bell. The 3 girls stayed with us. I like Anna, she’s very kind, and her sister Kit; she is a lovely girl.

I studied English language at Multicultural Learning and Support Services (MCLaSS) for about 2 years. The teachers were very nice but I can’t forget Marlene. She was a very nice and kind woman. I will never forget her. I love you Marlene. She was my first teacher. She was part Maori and European. She loved to sing Maori songs. One song she loved to sing was “Tui, tui … “. Another song she sang was the national anthem in Maori. She passed away 2 years ago. I miss my teacher who was kind, friendly and helpful.

Then I went to level 2. My teacher was Kim. She is nice and kind. I like Kim. She is the best teacher in MCLaSS. After MCLaSS I went to English Teaching College (ETC). I studied at ETC for 2 years. My teacher was Jeff and he is the best teacher at ETC. After ETC I went to MCGRR for computer course for 6 months. I learned typing and some other things. It was very nice but short time for me and I would like to find another computer course.

At the moment I have Sunita, my home tutor. She is from Nepal and works at Te Papa. One day a week she comes to my house and she teaches me English and sometimes computer. I learn how to talk on Skype or email on yahoo with my family or friends.

Thanks Sunita Mahat, Maddy Harper and English Language Partners for helping us. When I first came my English was not good. I remember I was at the bus stop, and a lady talked to me about the weather. “Oh today is lovely weather”. But I didn’t know how to answer. I left the bus stop. After that, if I saw someone at the bus stop I would never go to the bus stop. Now my English is good. If I see someone in the bus stop I try to talk about the weather or Wellington.

My husband and I have been here for 5 years. On 2 April we went to the ceremony to get our citizenship. The City Council arranged a tea party for the people who got citizenship. I was very happy, because my husband and I became New Zealanders.

Visit the Wellington centre's page to read more from their August 2012 newsletter.