Saturday, January 31, 2009

Catching & controlling the time.........

Recently Dat mentioned to me that his watch had broken. He very politely asked if I could possibly find him a Braille watch in Australia as the Braille watch he has had since he was 13yrs old had broken. He was really lost without it and they are not available in Vietnam. He told me he really needs it as it is important for him to control the time!

A watch is so much more than a time piece to a blind person, chatting to Dat as we go about our travels we see how it tells him so much more than the time. How long has he been on the bus? How close to his destination is he? Has he finished his lesson? Has the sun set?...... etc. etc.
As you can see in the photo Dat was obviously delighted as he became acquainted with his new watch. He asked me to describe it to him, I began with ….
“Well, it’s a nice deep blue watchband with a silver watch face ”
Mmmm, Dat has been blind since the age of one and has no idea of colours! We then chatted about how to describe the actual shade of blue and after a while we settled on “ well, it’s darker than the sky and yet lighter than the ocean – and with the bright silver it’s a very handsome watch” he was quite pleased with that description and announced.
“Well, now I am a handsome man, with a handsome watch”
We not only managed to get a new watch for Dat, we also picked one up for Quan and each of the three children.
We had a lovely afternoon with Quan at a nice little place beside the lake. Quan had a great time catching up with his good friend Nam and meeting a few of Dats friends. It was so nice to see him in a social setting with other young people. Dat thoroughly enjoyed playing Cat & Mouse with Quan and the new watch – quite hilarious to observe two young blind guys teasing each other with something neither one could see!

We had a lot of fun giving the kids the watches, they were delighted. While Brian adjusted the wristbands to fit their tiny wrists, Dat carefully explained to them how they lift the glass over the face of the watch so they can tell the time by touch. Watching them gently feel each of the points around the dial and the second and hour hands was really quite lovely. Once again the photos speak for themselves.

As we walked up the alley away from the kids home I said to Dat “Well they were certainly very happy to receive their new watches, don’t you think?” Dat turned to me and said.....

“Of course they are happy Alison, for now they can control time, it cannot run away from them anymore”

kind regards

Alison & Rose



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