DAY 4 … Into the Schools We Go … Sabana Perdida


Well, today, my alarm went off at 6:45 am and I didn’t bother sitting up I just looked at my roommate (Deanna) and rolled over ready for more sleep. At 7 am, the alarm went off again, and I had to get up.  I hurried to be on time to meet up with the rest of the group so as not to be late. We got on the van ready to go to Senor Hector’s house, he is our drive this week. He drove us to our first Dominican Deaf school. It took us significantly longer to arrive at Hector’s house; Mark might have made some extra turns. We did not realize we had reached the school at first. What my expectations were of the school was very different from what we saw. I thought it would be remotely similar to one of our rundown American elementary schools.  The school had a bare wall with their school’s name on it. It reminded me of the place in a prison where they are allowed to play basketball in the courtyard; dreary and sad looking, surrounded by barb wire.

Hesitantly, we entered the school’s ground not knowing what to expect. As we settled into the room, children started gathering in the room; I got excited. As Dr. Rust introduced himself and us, I saw smiles on all the kids’ faces. I knew from that point on it was going to be an awesome day! They all loved learning our sign names which made me feel really good. We discussed heroes with the kids. I was Spiderman! (Last night, Dr. Rust said I was more like spider awkward.) The kids really were into the lesson. They all were jumping up and down to answer Dr. Rust’s questions. Some were shy when Dr. Rust called them to the front of the room though. The children drew pictures and told us which hero they liked best: Spiderman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman or the Hulk. The children did not understand our English words and we had a really hard time understanding their Spanish words. One of the students specifically asked for me, and that just made my day. I think we are best friends for life.

bbf for life!

Max described the Deaf hulk story to the kids. Afterwards, we had recess though they only have a square cement area to use. It nearly broke my heart to see that they did not have a nice playground though I expected it. Max got everyone into playing a game where you had to cover one eye and run to flick a bottle cap off the bottle.

Going to flick the cap off the bottle during recess.

My new bff was a pro at the game …girl power!!!!! We chatted a lot with all the children enjoying our time and hoping we’d understand the Dominican signs.

We got back together with the kids but this time we had the younger children age 3-10. They would not sit still to listen to our animal lecture. We split into groups with the children and by the end of our discussion not only were they reluctant to give us back our markers, but also our farm animal cards disappeared. After a long time with the younglings, we had lunch; rice and beans, a typical Dominican Republic meal.

The older children returned ready for us to continue our lesson. We lead with who was the real hero from Max’s story: the Deaf Hulk or the nerd? We split up into groups to discuss who was the real hero, before everyone in the class debated on in it. It came down to the nerd being the hero because he was being helpful.

After we said our goodbyes, which included a lot of hugging, we got onto the van and headed back to our hotel. We were so tired, but instead of sleeping, we decided since we had been in the sun, we needed to cool off. We headed to the pool for a nice swim, but it was cold and the sun was gone. So it turned into a quick swim before we headed out to dinner. During dinner a young boy came up trying to sell us crackers… I think. I get nervous when that happens because I’m afraid my purse will go missing. We came back to the hotel and played a friendly game of dominos before heading off to bed.

Can’t wait ‘til tomorrow!

Rachel Bridgeman  

Day is done and Deanna and I are still smiling!


One Response to “DAY 4 … Into the Schools We Go … Sabana Perdida”

  1. Tracy Says:

    Thank you for sharing your day and all your pictures !! Tracy

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