Thursday, July 21, 2011

Smiles Are Universal

Katie & Hilary

This morning our group had the privilege of visiting Cape Deaf: one of ten schools for the deaf and blind in Ghana. It is considered one of the leading schools for the deaf and blind and, therefore,
students come from all over Ghana to attend. According to the headmistress, some students are from three countries outside of Ghana: Nigeria, Togo, and Benin. We were amazed as we visited classrooms and watched some students as they read stories in Braille. We communicated with them by holding hands and it melted our hearts as we saw huge smiles on their faces as we interacted.

We also visited classrooms for the deaf. Even though I don’t know how to sign and
the students couldn’t speak, we still communicated by smiling. It is truly the universal language. We introduced ourselves and the students gave us each a name in sign language. It was funny to watch them debate with each other about what the sign should be for each name. They are just like any other child. In fact, the school’s motto is, “Disability is not Inability.” This truth is displayed throughout the school as we saw children excelling academically as well as learning different trades such as: painting, silk screen, sewing, and carpentry (just to name a few!)

While most of the group was visiting Cape Deaf, Amanda, Priscilla, and Peco went to interview our beloved Mr. Thomas Baidoo. This is the man who has patiently been teaching us Fante for the past five weeks. They plan to write a narrative on him with the information they gathered. It will be really great!

In the afternoon we enjoyed lunch on the patio and the rest of the day was spent by most of the group at the market. Dr. Clerico had some pictures to deliver to the market ladies and others wanted to do some more last minute shopping. It’s been another great day in Ghana and we are cherishing our last few moments together!

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