Part 3 of this series speaks about something that, unfortunately, I did not continue for very long. It was too much to handle, what with Japanese tutoring, interpreting practicum, and sleeping.
I volunteered at a school for the Deaf all the way in another parish… It took 2-3 hours to travel there, and then another 2-3 to get back home. Every time I went, I came back tired. Who knew travelling in a cramped mini-bus could zap so much energy out of you?
But still, I loved being there. I led an entrepreneurship programme, in which students are able to start, run, and ultimately liquidate their own company, learning about the entire process on the way.
It was a new experience in many ways. The first time, I got there, I realised that the educators tend to use simcom. Rarely am I in a Deaf environment and yet able to hear conversations in the corridor or the next room; it was strange for me. The teachers also seemingly prefer to use Signed English. (I’ll withhold comments about those for now…)
Being around these Deaf children made me fall in love with JSL over and over again. When they made up for my shortfalls in expressiveness and fluency by clarifying my signs, I got to witness the beauty of the language in new light, and learnt because of it.
I don’t plan to ever forget this experience. Hopefully one day, I can be involved in it again.