Liti later made a second visit to the village with me, so I could talk more about the school with the family, and meet Joseph, their deaf son.
And if you’ll allow me to digress a bit, I’d like to tell you a little about Liti. She’s from the town of Nausori,
which is about a one and a half hour bus ride from the main hostel. She wakes up every weekday morning at 3, to cook her roti for the day and make her husband’s lunch. She then rushes off to catch the 5:30 bus to Suva, arriving around 7. At the hostel, she helps make the lunches, and also helps get the children off to school. Then, after the morning staff devotions and hostel meeting, she starts right in, preparing the evening meal for 50 some people. After a full day of work, she leaves the hostel at 4:30 and walks to catch the 5 o’clock bus back to Nausori, usually arriving around 7. Occasionally her husband, a cab driver, is in the area, and surprises her by swinging by to give her a lift home in his cab, which cuts her travel time quite a bit. Once at home, she’s back in the kitchen again, preparing the evening meal there. She tries to be in bed before 9, so she can get up again at 3. (I’m tired just writing about her day!) But Liti loves her job, loves the children, loves to cook, and always has a smile for everyone. I’ve never once heard her complain. I think she’s amazing!! And according to all reports, she’s a very good cook, too!! We’re thankful to have her on staff!
In addition to Joseph, we’ve also signed on 3 more deaf kids: Gloria, Joshua, and Penieli, all five years old---and each with his/her own story---to be told at another time. We also heard recently that one of our present students has a 3 year old brother who is also deaf. We’re excited to be finding children at younger ages now, in order to give them a better start in school. Our ‘child find’ teams will be going out to other islands over the holidays, and should be bringing back more deaf children. We’ll keep you posted on that!
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