Saluton geamikoj! I wanted to share a story that happened to me today. As today hits my 90 day mark of my EO journey, I've noticed I've been hitting a dip in my motivation over the past week. I know there are ups and downs with any hobby or interest so I'm continuing to buckle down with my goals (50xp minimum here, memrise, and doing reading in a book or on facebook/reddit). At the library I work at, I organized an "Introduction to Esperanto" class that will be held in April. It will mostly just be an hour of Esperanto history, music, and basic phrases. I got into a conversation today with a coworker and invited her to come to the event. She said "yeah, I saw that. I actually already speak it".
I read a lot of negative comments about how it is near impossible to find speakers naturally in the real world or that Esperanto is only alive online or in groups and gatherings. I felt really encouraged after this! I hope that me sharing it was able to encourage some of you!
Pardonu: Lavanĝo devas esti lavango. Tre aktuala nun en Aŭstrio. Manche sagen: "Esperanto ist Schnee von gestern". Es ist die Lawine von morgen.
En la pasinteco la esperanto-parolantoj portis verdan stelon kaj oni rimarkis ilin. Sed hodiaŭ tio estas ne la kutimo. (Gugla traduko:) In the past, the Esperanto speakers carried a green star and they were noticed. But this is not the custom today.
La lingvo Esperanta vivas en multaj lokoj - necesas nur trovi ilin.
At our annual Peace Walk on Jan 1, I brought along my (new) Esperanto flag, since the language was created to promote world peace. One lady I walked with knew of the Language -- that was pleasant surprise enough.
Then, during the Open Mic after the walk, I showed the flag and spoke a bit about Esperanto and its original purpose (peace). After the open mic, TWO MORE people came up to me -- one was a local Baha'i, who knew about Lidia Zamenhoff's travels, teaching, and commitment to the Baha'i faith. She had previously used DUO to study another language, so I recommended DUO's Esperanto program.
Another was a new Canadian who asked if Esperanto still held its annual Universala Kongreso (I told him about Montreal 2020). So in the space of one hour, three people . . .
It's just a matter of making yourself visible.
I'm working hard at Esperanto so I can attend the 2020 UK, but even before then, I'm now thinking about doing some kind of presentation through our library or something. I also definitely want to be a "walker" entry in our July 1 Canada Day parade: small-town parades are more flexible than big cities, and even if I have to walk alone, I can still do it, and hand out some information along the way.
So here's another vote to encourage people. If you want to meet people you've never met before, medium and small-town media usually have free announcements for non-profit groups via "free" newspapers, local radio, etc. Pick a date, pick a time, find a place, get some announcements out, and see what happens. You just need to be sure to cover more than "social media" cuz (believe it or not) there are lots of interesting folks who don't use it.
That's exactly what I hope to do in the next few months (after I get more solidly anchored in Esperanto), and especially after StuarttheBrave's post.
As they say in Japanese: GAMBATE! (Go for it!) (Google Translate's "bonŝancon" just doesn't convey the gutsy energy level of the Japanese . . . Gambate! is one of my favourite words after 13 years in Japan.)
Very encouraging to hear! One of my personal goals is to make it to Montreal 2020. And hello form another former japan expat!! I lived in Okinawa for four years (US navy base).