Monday, July 14, 2003

Hello from San Diego State University (SDSU). Bless them for having internet access in their library. I've just gone through my e-mail, and I thought I'd send a teensy update while I'm here.

There haven't been any tours or workshops yet at this convention: those begin tomorrow. Yesterday, we had opening ceremonies, including some great keynote speakers. The finale was two Chinese dragons that danced around the room, to the tune of HUGE drums that everyone who's here could either hear or feel. My delegate, KC, needed to get something to drink in order to take medicine, so we missed most of the finale, but I did snap a couple of hasty pictures on our way out the door. :o)

Oh, and Hat Trick met the Shamu mascot from Sea World, who was also visiting our convention. He even got to pose for a picture with him, hee hee!

But the most amazing thing yesterday was the Mass. I've seen deaf priests before, and blind priests before. I've seen priests who sign before. Considering that at AADB, a very large percentage of the delegates communicate with tactile sign (signing into the hands), it was no surprise to me at first to see that the priest who was about to celebrate our Mass was using tactile sign with someone. That is... it was no surprise until I realized that he was RECEIVING the tactile sign IN his hands, not signing it into someone else's hands...! None of us had ever met a deaf-blind priest before. His name is Fr. Cyril Axelrod, and he's from England. He even has the kind of guide cane that deaf-blind use over there in England. In the US, deaf-blind people use the same kind of cane as blind people. But in England, blind people use a cane that's solid white, while deaf-blind people use canes that have alternating bands of red and white. I haven't got time to track down hyperlinks for all this now, but when I get home, I will. However, I seem to recall that the group in England that's the equivalent of our AADB is called the National Deaf-Blind League (which they might have tweaked the spelling to "National Deafblind League", I'm not sure). If you're curious about these things, run either or both of those phrases through the search engine of your choice and you're sure to get results. :o)

OK, it's time for me to run out of here and meet KC and Kathy (KC's other SSP) for dinner. Do have a great day and if I don't get the chance to get online from here again, I'm certain to log on with my AADB recap when I get back. Take care.

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