I've always been down on LA for not offering the same type of exposure to different cultures (specifically spoken language) as NY. Blame the car/public transportation difference I suppose, that and no one really walks around here, so interaction is limited. Folks are kind of in their bubbles, whether by design or out of circumstance. Well, I am determined to give the child as much exposure to different kinds of folk, from all walks of life as I can. Through music, I've introduced her to many languages. Whether it be Kreyol, Spanish and French or a simple greetings/goodbye in others. Her schooling provides Spanish immersion & will soon include lessons in Mandarin, a language that to my surprise, she's been showing interest in for some time. But I could only walk her through it but so much, luckily Auntie Staci (thx for the book) speaks fluent Mandarin & Naima adores her so I'm super excited to see how she blossoms in that area! For nearly 2 years we've made ASL a part of our lives. Her ASL skills are pretty neat too & our instructor Allison has been so wonderful inviting her students to events for ASL families that will expose her to more wonderful people in this community. Her swim class takes place in a Jewish HS, (so she sees the images) & her instructor is Russian & she loves that Naima knew how to say "hi" in Russian & looks forward to teaching her more! So, as I stop and really think about it, the world that I miss in NY is really possible here in LA. And folks are so excited to share their culture and language with little people. Often while we are out, I will stop someone if I hear them speaking a language other than English & ask them what they are speaking, how to say hi/bye and a little bit about where they are from. They are more than happy to share and celebrate their heritage with us. Then Naima & I go home & I show her on her map, where they're from & it opens the door for more dialogue about different people & lands. Her little passport may not have stamps in it yet but she's already learning about the world thru her daily experiences & I could not be more grateful for it. I think it also gives the adult a small bit of pride too!