Friday, July 18, 2008

Catching up

Hello friends!
We know we haven't been posting lately, but we have been busy. This past week, I have been working with the kids, getting them ready for the closing ceremony for the school. I have taught them some Deaf jokes and stories. The ceremony will be next Wednesday, and Aaron and I are guest speakers. We have had our speeches prepared for about week now. We have been doing our mothers proud! :)

Aaron is conducting a workshop with the human rights monitors tomrrow (saturday) on engaging community leaders into human rights efforts. He has been preparing for that all this week.

We have also been doing a lot of paperwork, writing up reports for the organizations we have been working with. So we are getting tired. We only have 8 more days left! We can't believe it. So, we are starting to get ready to go. This may be the last post before we get back...the computer on the compound has been used alot lately, but we will be sure to post when we get back in the states and reflect on everything we have experienced.

Hope all is well.


Monday, July 7, 2008

A Typical Day in Africa

Hello all,
Just wanted to share with you a day in Africa, or at least Liberia...We have gotten accostumed to having our days not go as planned...and this last Saturday was no exception. Here's how it went.

9:15-Woke up, having missed 16 calls, on each of our phones. (It is almost a sin not to answer your phone here...even if you are in church)

9:30-Planned a "possible" lunch date around 1:00 or 2:00 but cannot go past 3:00 because we have another engagement

10:30-a friend stopped by and told me he heard we had a lunch date set, but I had not received a call back confirming yet

10:35-Call confirming lunch date, pick us up at 12:30

12:00-Student from school stops by to visit

12:45-Driver comes to pick us up and we say goodbye to student; we thought out friend was going to be in the car with us but is nowhere to be found-so we leave anyways

12:55-Call from friend-he is coming to our house-and he hangs up

1:00-Call friend back and ask where he is...we will come and pick him up

1:10-Pick our friend up, and he asks, " Where is E.?" He is back at our house, he was supposed to come with us, as well as the student who came by to visit (we had no idea and sent her home); so we head back into town

1:20-Stop by school-the local Federation for the Deaf decided to hold a meeting, that I (Tricia) am supposed to attend, but that we had no idea about since they never confirmed the meeting-they just showed up and expected for it to work out

1:30-finally leave for lunch

1:40-Have lunch

2:45-Get ready to leave for 3:00 appointment

3:30-Arrive at last appointment

So...hopefully this helps you experience what it can be like sometimes here. My mom thinks that we don't plan or schedule things out very well or far in advance....we plan far in advance compared to our Liberian friends.

Just a taste of Africa...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Deaf Educator Workshops

As Aaron stated in the last post, I have had the opportunity to conduct some Deaf Educator Workshops at the schools in Monrovia. The first one was completed this last week, and two more will be completed in the following weeks at different schools. Since there is no training for Special Education teachers, let alone, Deaf Educators, the teachers were excited to be participants.

I originally planned to do a five day workshop but as Africa goes, it got narrowed down to two days, and it was really rainy the second day, so attendance was lower...but overall, I believe it was successful. Even though it was hard to share the knowledge I gained in 4 years at ISU in just two days, I was able to share some important points. Hopefully the information will stick with the teachers.

The rest of this week, I plan to do some more observations in the classroom at Hope for the Deaf, to gather more information about the students before I go. I am starting to write up a report about my work here, so that will keep me busy as well.

Hope all is well for you.