Time is flying… It has been a month since I have started activities with blind children and youth in Sobral. By now, I am in regular contact with ten kids, their families and teachers. Weekly activities have started with seven children. Today I want to take you on a journey through a day with Bats in Action as an example for my work her.
At five o’clock, I meet with friends for the daily morning walk. This is a good start of the new day. After breakfast, I get a ride to the city centre where I get on a mini-bus to meet my first student.
Matusalem has low vision with a high probability to go blind later. Now, he is 12 years old and we start working on Braille and computer skills. Matusalem learns easily and has fun with the new contents. As Matusalem can still see, I sometimes blind-fold him in order to develop his tactile perception. We also go for blind-folded cane walks in the school. I feel it is important for him to learn blindness skills now. This reduces the fear of blindness as he understands that he will be able to continue his normal life even without vision.
After two hours, I get on a motorbike taxi to reach the centre again. There, I catch a bus which takes me to a village about an hour drive from Sobral. In this village, I meet a ten years old girl. She gets a lot of support from her family and ressource teacher, but I am the first blind adult working with her. Kauane still has difficulties reading Braille as she had no access to Braille materials, such as textbooks. We take some time to practice reading, but I need to find some fun activities to get her more interested in reading Braille. I installed some audio games on the school computer and Kauane has fun playing games. This helps her to get used to the computer and develops coordination, reaction and concentration. The next step will be typing which is less fun. As many blind children, Kauane didn’t like to use a white cane. I spent some time at her house before and we went for exploration walks in the villafe. Now she feels more confident and even goes home from school by herself. Today we go to the local shop to buy some food. We explore the products, compare prices and pay at the counter.
The photo shows a cooking session during a visit to Kauane’s home.
In the late afternoon, I take a bus back to Sobral and another one to my house. There, I need to plan activities for the next day, take care of book keeping and the housework.