As an African American woman, I often admire the beautiful natural hairstyles that I have see fashioned.
Today, I was shown photos of a unique African hairstyle. It was simply gorgeous! Guess who created the beautiful hairstyle?
Margaret, my newest Deaf student!
Margaret arrived to my host home to be transported to school, but all schools and businesses are closed today because of the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.
Last week was Margaret’s first time in school, she has not learned the days of the week yet. However, with the photos that I saw today, I was given a window into her mind to learn that she is a talented and creative student. With education, who knows what her career path will become? I know for now, she is eager to learn.
What other of our students are talented?
David, who was born deaf is also creative. Look at the detailed car that he made out of old oil drums that he used primitive tools to pound the drum flat to start making his creation of a police car. Look closely to see how he intertwined scrap metal together to make a truck.
In our class last week, I put a phone in his hand to video capture his classmates learning how to take pictures. When he returned the phone to me, he had taken excellent far and close up video shootings of the students signing. This gave me insight with how he was viewing the scenes while his classmates were learning how to use the other phone for photo shooting.
Also, in having David to participate in this activity, I noticed it heighten his sense of environmental cues. In my next few remaining weeks, it will be interesting to see what other talents will arise among our deaf students who are now learning Zambian Sign Language.
If you have talents or skills and would like to have a Zambian experience when our Valley Forge University Intern leads a short-term team here next spring/summer, leave us your comments.
Yes! It happened naturally as I was beginning to assemble our video recording equipment. I looked up and saw curious looks on my students faces as if they were asking, “What is she doing?” So, I stopped assembling the items and called two students at time to me to demonstrate how to setup a tripod and the cell phone on it for picture taking and video recording. As I was pointing at the various features, they were being taught the sign language. Before I knew it, we were having two-way communication on the subject of picture taking and videoing. Then I had them to take turns and show each other what they learned. I stood there in amazement as I watched students who had no language, now taking the language that I have given them and are signing to each other. WOW!
When I was in Zambia in 1998 with a small Missions team, Joseph Mwaba held two positions. He worked as Sports Director of Zambia Sports Association of the Deaf (ZSAD), as well as the Founding General Secretary to the Confederation of African Deaf Sports (CADS) Zambia Deaf Sports. His positions then, afforded our team to be guests at the State House.
Under the late President Chiluba’s auspice, I had the opportunity to present before his Ministry cabinet a Deaf Awareness presentation on the impact of the lack of Sign Language Interpreters. At that time there were only two interpreters in the entire country. It was Joseph’s first time to have an interpreter for all the meetings we attended while I was in Zambia. When I returned to Zambia in 2018, I learned that my presentation had an impact. Over the twenty years, Zambia has trained fifty certified Sign Language interpreters with the number of interpreters still growing today.
Once again, little did I know my being here in Zambia during a presidential election, would bring about an opportunity to present “Giving the Gift of Sign Language,” to children without language to the forefront with the newly elected president. Although Joseph and I are in the process of fully developing the program along with other needful Deaf programs, today as a Deaf leader with an NGO he is attending a meeting with the newly elected president this morning.
He and other leaders of disability organizations will have an opportunity to present and discuss the needs of Deaf people and to bring this population to the attention of President-Elect Hakainde Hichilema of the Republic of Zambia.
This is such a privilege and honor. Please help me to wish Joseph of Zambia Deaf Vision a successful meeting and for future positive outcomes.
Information about the beginning of this journey can be found at :
How would you like to be sitting in a church service in an open-air building on a Sunday morning and all the sudden see zebras and other wildlife dancing and bucking around while the choir is singing?
It all was a wonderful and joyful time in service! Join me for a short excerpt of Sunday’s praise service here in Zambia in the middle of a safari.
Oh, nsangalale, oh nsangalale ba Yahweh Kuboko kwenu
It means “be happy because the hand of the Lord is on you”
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that afterwards as we sat around in small groups fellowshipping, a group of beautiful peacocks came around us and my two little boyfriends were chasing and playing with them. A sight that I have never witnessed in the state.
I have been to many other countries but I cannot recall experiencing so many different cultural things as I have since being in Zambia. If you ever want to see the real Africa, the big five animals and one of the wonders of the world, Zambia Africa is the place. And yes, they also have beautiful white sand beaches and aqua colored water!
Little did I know the extent of Zambian culture until I started with attempting to learn Bemba, the main dialect spoken in the Copperbelt area of Zambia. Learning Bemba goes beyond memorizing words and basic grammatical rules. You must understand the importance of R-E-S-P-E-C-T and the degree of who it is given to when speaking the language.
Every area of life is embraced with its culture. Living among one of the Copperbelt communities has given me a portfolio of information to learn how I should incorporate it into rudimentary gestures for my students without language for them to understand. Then I can eventually teach them Zambian Sign Language and English. Yes, it is a process.
Join me below in laughter as I have a brief clarification conversation about some of the family roles in Zambian culture. Comment below and share with us your experience with a different family culture.
We learned today during our parent interview that 18 yr old, not 13 yrs. old Collins has been Deaf from 5 months and he has a 15 yr old sister who is also deaf. Neither of the two have ever attended school due to no schools fees. Their mother is a widow with four other children, all hearing who attends school.
His mother happily said, she has seen a difference in him since coming to my class. He practices writing his name repeatedly and counting at home.
She also confirmed that no one in the home speaks or knows English. I told but Collins has already started learning not only Sign Language. He is learning to write and read English! As he demonstrated for her, she just beamed with a big bright smile.
I am grateful that Joseph and I have the opportunity to bring education, life and hope to these deaf children and their families.
We will be looking for sponsors to help us to support these children's education. Your donation will be greatly appreciated. https://www.gofundme.com/f/debbie-giving-the-gift-of-zambian-sign-language
My desire is to continue making a difference and touch lives by providing two-way communication and Deaf Culture Awareness