Recently, I was sitting here at the computer, wading through the end of financial year administration jobs, thinking about what I'd rather be doing. The admin side of things is not my idea of fun I must admit. But I was soon reminded of just why we're doing this, and why I'm so lucky to be doing this.
Gmail has a chat function to speed up written conversation. Out of the blue a message popped up, "Hello Mrs Alison, are you had dinner?" (sic)
On further investigation, I realised that the sender was Hong, one of our blind students, and recent ACCV staff member. I was very impressed at how well she was doing with the computer, gmail functions etc., and I told her so. She then asked me if I had "skype" because the students would like to talk to me.
What followed was without question, the highlight of the week.
All connected up, I had the loveliest chat with a number of our students. They were great fun! Giggling away, they fired questions at me, what did I have for dinner? How are the different members of my family? Who's coming with me on my next trip to Hanoi? They interrupted and corrected each other, tried out a few new words.
The voices and laughter drew my son Alex into the room, so they had a bit of a chat with him too. They are such enthusiastic, fun loving, bright sparks!
The conversation only lasted 15 - 20 minutes, but I have thought of it often since. I have thought back to when I first met each of the students, the sad and lonely existence they were leading. I thought about when we first talked about an English language program for blind people. I thought about the first time we funded an IT course, when we organised computers for the centre. I remember thinking about the completely untapped potential of these young people.
I never dreamt of having a live skype chat, totally initiated by the students, totally in English, no teachers were present.
Yes .... I'm very lucky to be doing this.
Alison & Rose
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