Welcome to our monthly newsletter. If you’re new here you check out our earlier one (yes this is only our second) on the blog in our web-site.
Each month we want to bring you some of the highlights from the myAmigos journey in our quest to help make our lives in Spain easier, safer, more secure, and more fun!
Each month, I’ll introduce you to a member of the team, and share the most exciting thing we’ve learnt, the most exciting thing we’ve done, and the most exciting thing we have planned. I’ll also ask you to answer the one most important question we have for you, and something funny that I want to share.
I hope this is useful to you and helps us get to know each other better. Each month the newsletter will be emailed on the Last Tuesday (hence the name) and then uploaded to our blog on the first Friday. (Sometimes there will be limited offers available and we want our best friends who have shared their email addresses with us to have access first.)
Question of the month
What is stopping you from using the app more often?
Some of you haven’t signed up for the app itself yet; some have, but haven’t used it; everyone who has used it has reported glowing feedback, but many of those aren’t using it again. What’s stopping you from taking the next step? Is there something you need from us to help you? I am so proud every time someone experiences the relief that the service offers that I just want to do whatever I can to make sure you experience that more often.
Please email me your answers (firstname.lastname@example.org) I would love to know!
Amig@ of the Month – Carla
This month – it’s Carla! Our first ever amiga. She’s the lovely lady you can see helping me in the videos on our Youtube channel (if you didn’t catch them on our signup page on the web-site).
When I first had the idea for myAmigos (and to this day) I knew the magic of the whole service depended on the people we could get to be our amig@s and I knew that if I couldn’t convince Carla to join me then there would be no point. Carla had already helped me out in tricky situations and already knew that it’s not just about the language skills, but about helping you get the outcome you want. Some of the nice things I want to say about her will definitely embarrass her, so let’s just keep it our secret ok?
Carla is originally from Argentina, but has travelled all over the world, including living in London for 8 years, and now lives in Galicia with her husband and two daughters. She has taught Spanish to foreigners for around 20 years and loves, family, friends, helping people, and laughter.
She loves teaching because she can see her students grow and become more successful in their new lives – which is what she also loves about myAmigos!
She is warm, compassionate, and a great friend to have around if you are stressed as her smile offers instant relief. It’s not just me saying that – other users have texted me after having her as an amiga about how lovely she is and calling her an angel and a life saver!
When I asked her about why she joined myAmigos she gave me three answers:
- She thought we would work well together (I agree!)
- She loves helping others understand Spain and Spanish
- She would have loved a service like this (but with the languages reversed) when she first got to London. She remembers how hard it was remembering her English in those early days, especially in stressful situations – like giving birth!
We are all so lucky to have her here at myAmigos. As we continue to grow, not only will Carla continue to look after you, but she will also be the head of all of the amig@s making sure they have all the training and support they need to remove your language barriers in our very special myAmigos way.
Learning of the month – We are PROUD to not be Professional
You may have seen the blog post on our web-site already so I won’t go into the details here (if you want them check it out here), but one thing I learnt this month is that we will NEVER promise you that our amig@s are professional interpreters.
Sounds strange, right?
Some of our amig@s certainly have the language skills, having done degrees in languages, interpretation, and translation. Some are sworn translators, and in the future some may very well be professional interpreters who moonlight at myAmigos.
BUT when professional interpreters are acting as professional interpreters they care only about the language and are duty-bound to remain neutral in the conversation. Our amig@s are not like that – they are your bilingual friends who are there to help you get stuff done.
Of course, if YOU want to understand every word that is said, then you can ask them to make sure they do that. But, for me, when I use the service I tell my amig@ what I want to get done and then trust them to have the conversations (of course asking me questions and offering me choices along the way) that they need to have to make it happen. This keeps the conversation flowing and makes sure we get results sooner.
It means our amig@s can also share any knowledge they have about your situation which is why we ask you to give us details about what you need help with and take some time to match you to our best amig@. It also means you have a friend who is on your side during what could be a stressful interaction, not someone trying to remain neutral.
It is the best of both worlds: with myAmigos you have someone with the language skills, professional distance, reliability, and privacy of a professional interpreter, and the support, reassurance, commitment and loyalty of a real friend fighting in your corner with you. With that combination you can watch language barriers crumble before your very eyes.
Accomplishment of the month – improving the app.
We are still getting through all of the improvements in the app that I outlined last month, but some have been completed. Most of them have been technical things behind the scenes, the design is still as clunky as it was, but we will get there.
Plan for the month – improve the app (more)
We still have a lot of work to do based on your feed-back (please keep it coming). We tend to improve the functionality first and then get on to the more cosmetic details so you may not have seen many changes yet. Although most of the immediate technical changes have been done so we may get it to look more like the web-site by the end of the year. You can check out the developments or book our services at https://myamigosmvp.bubbleapps.io/version-test
Laugh of the Month
One of my favourite comics is itchy feet. I’ve become a patreon, and Mal has kindly given me permission to share some of his work with you on the newsletter so I suspect many of the laughs of the month will come from his work. This one continues the theme from last month’s laugh of dealing with bureaucracy – something our friends tell us we are good at helping with.