Better late than never
I was born and raised in London, where I received a pure English education. For the last 18 years, I have lived in Cyprus. Although my parentīs mother language was Greek, I could speak only a little Greek and I could not write at all. Upon completion of my studies, on a holiday trip to Cyprus, my parentīs country, I met and married my husband and we decided to live there. Very soon we were a very happy family of five. We had two girls and a boy, my husband was running a small business and we were leaving in a small but very nice bungalow. Although I was a happy housewife, I was facing a problem with the Greeklanguage, which I was not using properly. Many people were thinking that I was a foreigner because of my poor Greek and that was hurting me very much and was making me feel very sorry. It was also very hard for me to watch the television programs, the majority of which were with Greek dialogues.
My problem became more serious when I tried to help my children with their homework. It was then that I took the decision to learn how to read and write Greek, my mother language. My desire for that was very strong, but I did not know where to go for that.
One day, looking into my sonīs schoolbag, I found a brochure of the Adult Education Centres. I found out that there were Greek lessons for illiterate adult people.
I took the opportunity immediately and joined a night class.
The people attending were all adults of different ages,
youngsters and grown-ups, coming all from different occupations, professionals, labourers and housewives, but all with a common desire: to learn how to read and write Greek.
The lessons were taking place once a week, at a primary school near to my home. Our teacher, Mrs Christiana Georgiou, was very friendly, facing everybody with patience, giving each one individually the required support and encouraging all of us to carry on.
It is indeed a great honour to us to have such a nice teacher, who devoted so much time teaching us our mother language. Out of that class we learn to read and write thus being able to communicate properly, orally and in writing, making our lives much easier and meaningful.
We deeply thank you Mrs Christiana, for the valuable assistance you have given us. We have taken so much from you and we promise that we will carry on our efforts and next year, to improve ourselves even more, for better use of the Greek language. Learning is the biggest tool of the human power.
Someone without knowledge is like a ship in the middle of the ocean without sails or a gun with blank bullets. A very big thank you, to our teacher and to the Adult Education Centres, for the opportunities they are giving us to enrich our knowledge. You should always remember that, "Better late than never."
The above address was delivered by Mrs Demetra Christoforou, during the ceremony for the end of works of the Adult Education Centre of Limassol, in May, 2004