The school, which has been rated as the best of the province’s 56 deaf schools in terms of its teaching, is very basic. The children eat their dinner in shifts as they only have six tables; their dorm is just a room of bunk beds, with no toys and some of the classrooms are currently out of use as the ceilings have fallen in and there is no money to fix them.
|Dinner in shifts.|
|Bath time for 40 boarders must be interesting.|
And yet, despite all of this, the children are some of the happiest I have ever seen. They are always smiling and laughing. Due to the fact that I’m one of the first volunteers to have visited the school they are besides themselves with excitement when they see me crossing the playground. Sitting in on their lessons it is clear to see that they love learning. They are enthusiastic and fun and I could honestly sit and watch them all day.
|Ever managed to get a group small children to look in the same direction at the same time? No, me neither.|
So this brings me to my birthday wish. Every year people ask me what I’d like for my birthday and every year I rack my brain. I have a reputation in my family of being difficult to buy for (on the basis that I once or twice returned a gift). But the problem is I usually can’t think of anything I want or need. This year, more than ever, I really don’t need anything. I have just had the most incredible nine months – my birthday present to myself – and the memories will last forever. So what I’m proposing is that if anybody had been planning on buying me a gift or sending a card for my 30th that they instead consider making a donation to the school. And I know if I was reading this I’d probably be thinking “she’s just been on a nine month jolly so it’s a bit rich expecting a present as well”. Which is totally true and is why I’m not expecting anything. So if you’re totally skint and you’ve got bills to pay and babies to feed, then honestly don’t worry about it. But if you would like to donate a couple of pounds then I’d really appreciate it and I know these little guys would too.
|We’ve got ourselves a beauty queen on the front row.|
|I promise that this is a matey hug, rather than a headlock.|
(Anyone who would like to make a donation can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Facebook and I’ll let you know the best way to go about it.)