Today we went to the Hearing Impaired School in Tuzla. As mentioned before, our aim was to support this school by collecting money in our Cook For Good sales. First of all, we met the students, their teachers and the school principle at the entrance of the school. Our first attempt to communicate was a little strange because none of us knew how to talk to them. In order to help us learn more about the school and the students’ conditions, the principle talked about the foundation and the aim of the school. He explained the current health conditions of the students. To summarize, some of them were totally deaf but most of them could distinguish sound with the help of their hearing devices. I learned that they understand words by reading lips as well. This information relieved me a lot. After the small talk we were divided into groups to perform several activities such as basketball and painting. I volunteered to be in the basketball group, I really wanted to do a physical activity with the students. To get ready for the match, we started with some warm-up activities. I realized that the students were running better than me, they were quite eager to play. Their P.E. teacher was with us too, he had an interesting method to teach. He was careful with his tone and he stressed some words more than the others. Clearly, his aim was to make his students understand and apply his directions. He was also using his body movements efficiently while he was giving verbal commands. It was relatively easier for me to communicate with students during the training because we were talking about very basic things, just like “It’s your turn”, “Where is the ball?” etc. I also tried my best to express and support my words with my body language. When the warm-up was over, we were ready for the match. Two groups were formed, each group was a total mix. During the match I had a lot of fun, however I was weak compared to them. Since I am not experienced in basketball, it has always been a challenging sport to me. So, this was an unforgettable memory. They, also, seemed really happy to play with and I can say that they were ambitious. The students in my team were in great collaboration, as a result we won the match. After the match we were all hungry, so we went to the cafeteria to eat our lunch. After the lunch, it was the time for playing table tennis. Table tennis is one of my favorite sports, so I was really happy to have a chance to play it with hearing impaired students. Once the students saw that I was not playing bad, they all wanted to play with me. Since I played basketball earlier, I was pretty tired but I kept playing. We laughed a lot, we laughed at random things… This made me realize that smiling was the most important universal language. When our game was over, unfortunately, it was time to return. For this reason, we gathered at the entrance. All of a sudden, music started to play. Our traditional songs… At this point, the effect of our culture united us again. We danced with all the students and teachers and I can tell that it was one of the best moments in my life. I’ll never forget that sincere atmosphere. Then, we gathered in the garden and played random games. Some of the students even taught us new games by showing us how to play them. Even though I had a little trouble with understanding at first, they didn’t stop until I understood the game and started playing with them. We hugged each other, took lots of photographs etc. I strongly wanted to come back to this school as we were leaving. Since our Cook For Good sales will continue in the second term, I am looking forward to our second visit.
Hours Completed: 6