By Laura Smith
Today I am going to wallow. Just a little bit. Okay? It’s been six months. Six months of no birthday parties or family gatherings. No coffees or lunches with friends. No new restaurants. No neighborhood parties. No movies or plays. No vacations from the day to day dreariness. Enough already.

Alright, that’s all the wallowing I’m going to allow myself today. No sense in complaining, I’ll dust off, pick myself up, and carry on. The good news is that Corrales, New Mexico is a special place to live during a pandemic. We’ve got great weather, outdoor dining, wonderful areas to walk, and a friendly village. And many of us have a meaningful, growing, connection through Village in the Village (ViV). Last month’s article focused on information about how ViV is using technology to communicate and stay connected. Our virtual clubs and social events are going strong. To improve access, ViV applied for and was awarded a grant from the State of New Mexico to provide training for our members. ViV is only one of five organizations who received funding from the governor’s office.

We are developing small group and individual tutoring in the use of phones, tablets, and computers. We want our members to be able to use virtual tools to stay in touch with their families, friends, healthcare providers, and others in the community. We also plan to provide training for those wanting to expand their skills in order to pay bills and order groceries. We’ll be able to help those who don’t exactly know how to turn their devices on and those who want to explore more sophisticated options.

We had a soft opening this past week for interested members of ViV. Sarah Pastore explained the scope of the grant as well as potential upcoming topics. Brynn Cole introduced basic computer terminology in a way that participants could understand. Sarah remarked, "It's exciting to be able to offer training to seniors during this time of social distancing, and it's very satisfying to know that they'll gain the confidence and skills to use technology comfortably after the pandemic is behind us." We are so excited and proud of this accomplishment, that ViV is extending an invitation to anyone in Corrales to attend a virtual showcase of our proposed programming. If you wonder what the difference between a router and a modem is, or what the heck streaming means, join us!

Whether you are a potential ViV member, family member, or someone curious about what’s going on in the Corrales community, we welcome any and all to participate. Don’t be shy, and there’s no test at the end of the class. We’ll host a Zoom meeting on September 28 at 5pm. To register, email Sarah at corrales.viv@gmail.com or call the ViV Call Manager at 505-274-6206.

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