Mon, 7/31: our area in Mexico City is Coyoacan. It is one of the oldest sections of Mexico City which has 25 million residents. The Spanish made this area their home when they came in the early 1500s. 15 years ago, this neighborhood was becoming run down. Now it is one of the most expensive places to live with many renovated homes, some hundreds of years old. Beautiful stores and restaurants.
Our students are sign language interpreters from all over Mexico. They are mainly young women ( a few young guys, too) who have been intepreting, but have had no formal training as interpreters. Interpreters in Mexico and through out Central America rarely get paid. None of these young people receive anything from the CHURCH for all they do.The students made incredible sacrifices. The three from Oaxaca rode 16 hours overnight in a bus. The two from Aguascalientes came 12 hours in something like an old school bus.
Yet, they are full of laughter and great enthusiasm.
Today, we had three training sessions, each two hours long.
We eat breakfast at 8am. Have a coffee break at Noon. Eat lunch, the big meal, at 3pm. Go back to class from 5 till 7 3opm. Dinner at 8pm.
Tues, 8/1. Each morning after breakfast, several of the students lead morning prayer. The Faith of these young people is awesome. Their faith and their love of God shines in their faces and their total openeness of their hearts to God.
Today, Mary Ann Barth from Kentucky and LaurenLynch Ryan from DC, both deaf, offered a great class on comparing Deaf Culture and Hearing Culture. Ian Robertson from Miami and I had a 2 1/2hour workshop on what the Catholic Church teaches. We broke the students up into five groups and asked them to discuss how Faith influences their lives and work.
What they shared with us back in the large group was so inspiring, I was very moved, but not surprised. You see a lot of this in Mexico. People in Mexico are not ashamed to share their Catholic Faith.
That evening, Mary Ann Barth and Alcaro Cordova from Hermosillo, Sonora in northern Mexico gave a workshop on how to do team interpreting. After dinner we had a staff meeting to review our work, and finally headed to bed around 10pm.
Wed,8/1: breakfast with sweet rolls, fresh fruit, frijoles (refried beans; every meal), potato tacos, good Mexican coffee. Three young people led morning prayer and asked us to be grateful for the people who support us and brought us here. Then asked us to go to anyone in the group who had shown you support since you arrived. Lots of hugs and tears.
Three 2 hour workshops today.
1 Challenges and hopes for interpreters as they work in parishes. Lots of discussion.
2 Catholic terms and Sacraments: what do they mean/ how to sign them?
Lunch is the main meal. Home made soup everyday. Today, rice, stuffed peppers, salad, horchata (sweet rice water), and always dessert. Hooray!
3, tonight: 2 hour signing practicum for all the students. We have several excellent sign language teachers from USA and Mexico.
Yet, when we are done, the students, starting at 9pm are planning skits and sign_ language story-telling. Three of the Mexican deaf on our team are planning the evening.