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Hey everyone! Today we spent time exploring our hotel and meeting some of the people that work here. We are staying at the Dao Diamond Hotel, which is operated for the benefit of impoverished and neglected deaf children on the Philippine Islands of Bohol and Leyte. The past two days we have been dining within the hotel and the kitchen staff as well as waiters are deaf. While all of us lack sign language skills, we are able to communicate with the staff by pointing and writing notes, which makes every meal an interesting experience.

In order to get a better perspective and learn more about the deaf community in Bohol, we talked with Dennis Drake who is the president of The International Deaf Educational Association. He showed us around the wood shop connected to our hotel where members of the deaf community work on local construction projects. This gives them an opportunity to make an income, which is a blessing for those who are deaf here. Dennis introduced us to a man named Walter, who is both deaf and blind. Dennis helped Walter tell his story by asking him questions while using sign language. Walter placed his hands on Dennis’ while Dennis signed, and Walter was able to sign to the group his story while Dennis translated in English.Watching them interact was incredible, and Walter’s story of overcoming both his physical battle of becoming blind as well as the psychological battle that goes along with that made us all realize how fortunate we truly are.

After listening to Dennis and Walter, we worked on our presentations on the history book we read for the seminar. We then had dinner at a local restaurant outside of the hotel and ate some authentic Filipino food!

That’s all for Wednesday’s post! Talk to you soon!