Inspire - Advocate - Educate

Monday, April 25, 2016, 18:17
I grew up in a two-bedroomed Council flat, on the dusty Cape Flats, in an area riddled with gang related violence.Our unit, No. 24, was on the top floor of a three-storey block of flats.From my bedroom window I enjoyed a view of the mountains, where I'd spend hours marvelling at their magnificence. My imagination ran wild with the mysteries that hid beyond them.
I have fond, albeit vague, memories of my early childhood - playing 'stones' on the stoep with my friend, who lived with her family in the flat below us (I can't recall her name); she was so much better at playing the game than I was and won each time we played! I learned to play 'kennetjie' in the parking area, and hopscotch in the courtyard. In the main street is where I scraped my knees, drawing blood, as I learnt to roller skate. I loved my skates with the yellow wheels. I used them until the rubber stopper on the front wore off!

Christmas and New Year's were particularly special. On Christmas Eve my mom would spend hours in our small kitchen, preparing a feast of roasts and festive trifle for Christmas Day lunch. Christmas was the only time we used the 'special' crockery, and cutlery and lay the main table in the dining room. On New Year's Eve, my mom would wake me, and - kneeling on my bed beside my window, with the windows and curtains open,- we'd wait for the minstrels to come down the street and fill the night air with festive music, brightening up the dimly lit street with their colourful costumes and infectious energy. We could hear them in the distance, as they made their way down the main street. As they got closer the road would fill up with people - young and old - dancing and cheering alongside. It was the highlight of the year.

But as I grew older, things around the neighbourhood started to change, and it was no longer safe to play outside. So I'd lie on my bed, in the blue painted room I once shared with my two older brothers, and daydream, creating the most elaborate scenes.

As a child, my goals of what I wanted to be when I grew up changed all the time, but the one constant was my desire to see the world. For as long as I can remember, I've dreamt of one day travelling overseas and exploring different cities - experiencing diverse cultures.

The 3rdInternational FCEI Conference (Family Centred Early Intervention) for children who are deaf, or hearing impaired takes place in a small town called Bad Ischl, near Salzburg, Austria from the 15th – 17th June. On the 12th I will be jetting off to Austria to attend this amazing event! I am so THRILLED for this opportunity and look forward to meeting and networking with other parents and professionals.

"The Congress represents a unique global partnership between parents and professionals, both hearing and deaf or hard of hearing. The theme of the 2016 conference is "For Every Child and Family", in recognition of the diversity of deaf and hard of hearing children, their individual needs and those of their families, the contexts in which they live and grow, and the variety of services they experience."

The opportunity to travel has always seemed to elude me and I'm so grateful to my husband for helping and supporting me to make my childhood dream a reality. As an 'added bonus', on my way back from the conference, I stop over in Turkey for a four day tour of three of its historical cities! As much as I am excited to be atteding the conference, I'm also filled with nervous energy as I embark on this adventure alone!

Whilst there, I will be posting regular updates on the Journey 2 Sound Facebook page, to keep you updated of my travels.

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