Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cecilia, Marco, and Javier

I love siestas. There is nothing more fantastic than a country-wide sanctioned afternoon nap. After lunch I sleep and then wake up at 2:00 and take a taxi ($1.00 each way) to ASOCRUZ and help out until 6:00.

ASOCRUZ is a public school with very limited funding that teaches deaf students basic subjects along with a few trades such as sewing and cosmetology.

Today I worked with three students ages 12-18 who entered the school about a month ago and are learning the basics of sign language, numbers, letters and Spanish. Today we spent four hours teaching the students how to spell and sign their names. Let me repeat that. Myself and another teacher spent four hours teaching three 12-18 year old students WHAT THEIR NAMES ARE.

For the record, their names are Cecilia, Marco, and Javier. Tomorrow, when I ask them what their names are--they will know. In fact, they will also know my name and the name of their other teacher Mabel.

I am going to use this moment to emphasize the importance of sign language for deaf children. These kids had their entire childhood in a hearing public school and never learned their names. Today in a school for deaf children, using Bolivian Sign Language, they learned their names. Who knows what they will learn tomorrow or next week or next year.


  1. I love that last line - so profound. I just read all of your entries here and you tell a helluva story, chica. Write that book. Sending you abrazos GRANDES.

  2. I'm so glad you were a part of helping them break into and open up their world. It will become alive and vibrant for them in a way it never could be before. Wow.

    Much love to you Kari-oso!

  3. Hmmm. One of the things I most love about your little travel-blog here are the titles of your blog posts. You title your posts well.... kinda like how the pictures make the food look in TV commercials -- meaty, succulent, delicious. But your blog fulfills the tease more honestly, not just with info, but you also offer insight, depth, a good laugh.

    As you know, I'm pretty shallow generally, so reading your blog makes me feel like a better human.

    And I have always, always, always loved the name Cecilia.

    Hey, when it happens, and it will (if it hasn't already), you should consider blogging about the first dream you have in spanish. Food for thought.