Tag Archives: deaf

And So it Goes…

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It has been a while since my last post and so much has been happening, I don’t know where to start!  Let me first say that IT’S COLD HERE!!!  I can’t believe how cold it gets at night and early in the morning here.  Of course, its winter, but it’s the Caribbean!  Marty brought me back an awesome, fluffy blanket from the states which I love soooooo much! THANK YOU MARTY!!!

The semester at New York Center has been coming to an end, so I was able to attend the graduation for some of my students.  That was an event, let me tell you! So, it was last Friday.  Aaron, Graham and I all went out in service with Teresa and had an awesome time.  It was my last day with Pocket as well (happy/sad).  So the plan was that Aaron and Graham were going back to their place with pocket and I would get ready and meet them there so we could take a taxi together to the graduation which started at 6pm.  Good plan.

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I go home intending to study my Watchtower.  Apparently the moment I sat on my bed I died!  All I remember was waking up at 6:00pm to the loudest rain of the season and no electricity!  I was totally freaking out by then because this graduation is mandatory for teachers, as well as being this massively formal to-do and I look like a train wreck that just woke up!  So I call Aaron, and sure enough, they had been waiting for me.  So I tell them to go without me, I’ll come late with Bella and Isabel.  Turns out that the Bells don’t want to go out in the flood (understandable) and Aaron and Graham can’t seem to figure out how to get themselves to the place.  By this point I’m all done up to the 9’s (YEah!!) and there was no way I was going through all that effort for nothing.  So I call a cab and venture out into the storm, an hour and a half late.

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When I arrived they had not even began reading the names, it was all performances and introductions and speeches.  Apparently is 3 hour event.  It was nice to see my students who had worked so hard get to be recognized for their work.  They were all happy to seem me as well as taken aback since I actually looked nice, not the usual frump-rushed, half dead, sack of potatoes they are used to seeing teach them English!

After the ceremony and the 20 years of taking pictures, we made our way to the Teacher’s After Party! Whoop!  It was at a nice restaurant, open bar, dancing and dancing, and more dancing!  Seriously, they started dancing as soon as we got there around 9:30 pm and were still dancing when I left around 2 am!  2 AM!!??? Yes, that was because, apparently, here in the Dominican Republic, you don’t eat food until you have danced for a good 5 HOURS!  Yep, no food was served until well after midnight.  I was very upset, and hungry.

Henry, a brother from my hall was also there, and two other sisters at my table.  We had a good time, laughed at all the teachers dancing, and tried to hear each other over the ridiculously loud music.  And on sister was kind enough to take us all home.  It was good getting to know them better, they really are sweet.  One sister, Ann is from Haiti and has moved here all on her own looking for work.  She speaks English, Creole, French, Spanish and now is learning Portuguese!  These Haitians are language geniuses, serious.

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The next morning, I had promised Kimberly I would go and make Cinnamon Rolls with her.  So rise and shine!  It was fun, they are a sweet family that are very hospitable.  After I had finished there, (eating the rolls was the best part!) I decided to go for a walk.  I was already half way to the Monument, so I decided to go have a look around.  I haven’t been there, believe it or not since I’ve been here!  It was a gorgeous day, not too hot with a delicious breeze.  I was quite happy on top of the world.

Aaron steppin’ up to the plate!

Then, on Sunday Arron, Graham and I went out in service with Teresa again, but this time we went to the orphanage! It was amazing working with the kids and teaching them from the ‘Escuche a Dios” folleto.  The orphanage is run by a evangelical family, but they are very open to the Witnesses helping.  The main reason for our visit is a young blind girl Teresa calls on.  It was very interesting to work in this setting.

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This kid, Esteban, was so active. So I convinced him to ‘teach Graham Spanish’ and Graham was able to have him work on the Listen to God brochure.

Teresa Being a boss!

Only by Jehovah…

Graham lookin’ a lil overwhelmed!

On the way home we stopped at Bravo! They have a pet shop on the second floor.  That was fun.  I managed to take a picture of the tarantula, but just barely escaped with my life!  I wanted to take a picture with the BIG PARROT, but Bella told me no… 😦 said it could eat my eyeballs out.  After watching it eat a man’s button off his shirt, I agreed.

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And last but not least, Monday was BEACH DAY!!!  Isabel has two young sisters from her home congregation in Madera staying with here for a couple months.  Janet and Alexis, 23 and 21 years old respectively.  They went with Bella, Gladys, Marty and me to the Beach.  It was absolutely beautiful, but in the afternoon it rained a little and got a little chilly.  But I the water was warm enough to swim, IN DECEMBER! So I’m not complaining.

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So hopefully you enjoy the pictures!  And I will try to update more often.  Lot’s of love to all my readers! I love your emails, keep them coming!

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Friday Is ‘Hurricane’ Teresa Day

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Friday’s are my long day in service with Teresa and they are usually filled with equal parts encouraging experiences, wacky Teresa-isms, and new things learned.  Teresa has 30 years of experience living and serving in this country and has a wealth of knowledge she is always ready to share.  We start the day with our study with Clara Luz and that always gives you an experience worth relating.  During the study this time three of the local neighborhood boys decided to watch what was going on.  So we had them pull up a chair and explained the process of using the book to teach Clara Luz.  They were very impressed.

Something I have learned with Teresa is to always include anyone who is even the smallest bit interested and to take the time to teach them as well.  Preaching is ASL is not limited to only finding those who are deaf.  Clara was, as always, inspiring.  She seemed a little tired, but was able to prepare a comment for the meeting.

The next study we go on is with Sara who has been studying with Teresa for some time.  After stopping for lunch and a rest, we head back out for two more studies.  By the time we finish its 8:30pm and we are starving.  Instead of getting a real dinner like most normal people, we decided on a chocolate croissant at a little bakery on the way home.  So worth it!  Today I am planing to go to my first actual Sign Language meeting, so I will have more to share I’m sure.

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This is the common area in the missionary home where Teresa lives.

One thing that always hits me is when I look at what I’m doing.  I mean, who gets to work with a missionary every Friday?  What I have learned from Teresa is so invaluable, I am truly thankful to Jehovah.  We serve such a loving God, and this world wide brotherhood we should never take for granted.  Also, today’s day’s text is a wonderful reminder: [God’s] will is that all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.—1 Tim. 2:4.

So, when we are out preaching or are busy in our daily activities, we should feel impelled to “exert ourselves in the ministry, not primarily because of a time limit, but because we want to honor God’s name and help people to come to know his will.”  You learn to appreciate these words so much more here because the opportunities to apply them are everywhere.  If you want to expand your ministry, COME!  There is a need in every language- Spanish, English, ASL, Chinese, Creole, Russian, Italian and French!  You can be sure wherever you serve you will be useful and have wonderful experiences to share.  Just a small recruitment speech…I’m done now.

What a Privilege!

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I’ve been so incredibly blessed these past 2 weeks. Teresa has been in the States, and before she left she asked if I could take care of her Bible student, Clara Luz. At first, when she asked me, I was terrified and thought of saying no. After all, making return visits and Bible studies here is a whole lot different than back home, especially if you don’t have a car. You have to think of where the call is and which concho you think will get you the closest, and often it takes more than one.

So when Teresa asked, I was thinking of all of this, as well as the fact that I’m just now learning Sign and feel ridiculously under qualified. Well I ended up saying yes because I absolutely love this little girl and I really enjoy working with her. And let me tell you, best decision.

There is a sister recently arrived here named Dana, from Alabama, and working with the Sign who has been going on the study with me. It was hilarious how we managed to get lost the first two times looking for the house, but we got it down now. We get on really good and we both love Clara Luz. However, yesterday’s study was quite the experience.

When we arrived yesterday it was to find Clara Luz in the house and her younger brother and sister out in the front yard. The mother had left and locked the gate so the children couldn’t get out, but also we couldn’t get in. So Georgie says to go into the neighbor’s front yard and climb the side fence since it’s shorter, all in her very adult manner of speaking. (she can’t be older than 5)

So we get in and wake up Clara Luz so she can get herself sorted out. On the way out to the front porch where we study we notice the little brother, about 2 years old had not only peed in his pants, but also had pulled them down to do a poo on the porch…and he’s standing there completely filthy, with no shoes…and your heart just goes out to these kids. Georgie had to go into the trash to find some small bags to use as gloves and a used take out container to pick up the remarkably large pile and throw it away. They don’t have much water, so we have to use the hose to slowly fill up a bucket drop by drop to clean the area. She found sone bleach and we cleaned it as best we could, and not a minute too soon because Clara came round the corner taking the familiar path to where we are.

It’s experiences like these that make you long for Jehovah’s new world to hurry and come. We had a great study learning about Noah and counting how many people survived the flood. I’ve enjoyed this study immensely, but I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to Teresa coming back!

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I’ve Just Had my Mind Blown….

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Today is the first day I have been out in service with Teresa in the Sign since forever.  She has been in the States and just got back a week ago, so we made plans together.  I forgot how much I really enjoy the sign ministry.  Today I got to finally meet the young deaf and blind girl that inspired ‘The Book.’  When Teresa asked me to help her with the book I just couldn’t get my mind around how someone blind and deaf from birth would understand this book.  But now I understand…Jehovah.  Also, she is incredibly smart.  In fact watching her made me feels so stupid.

When you first meet her she touches every part of you; your fingers, nails, hands, clothes, hair, everything.  And then  you tap a part of her, and then she will tap the same part on you. I learn that its a game as she giggles, tugging on your hair or ear, and waiting for you to do the same to her.  What Teresa has accomplished with her is amazing.  Teresa will give her the book to feel the different scenes.  Then Teresa will have her put her hands on hers as she signs, this way she can “see” what is being signed.  And she gets it on the first try usually.  Then she will grab my hands and make me do the signs because she loves to teach.  Amazing.  She put some of the hand sanitizer on me, and I didn’t ‘say’ thank you, so she took my hands and made the sign with them!  Incredible.  A deaf/blind girl is teaching me manners!  It was so very humbling, and for the first time I really appreciated the scripture in Isaiah 35:5- “At that time the eyes of the blind ones will be opened, and the very ears of the deaf ones will be unstopped.”