As our days here at Mathru are dwindling, I’m constantly reminded of deadlines and unfinished tasks, and I feel that I often miss what is going on around me. Fortunately I’m given an hour everyday where I get the chance to emerge from behind my computer screen and join some of the teachers and staff in an effort to make independence a possibility for the visually impaired teachers. I enjoy my time with Ms. Bhagya, Ms. Manjula, and Ms. Teju as we’ve all learned to laugh at the British accent the Mountbatten Brailler spews out during training.
Often times the three of them revert to their most comfortable language, Kannada, and I’m forced to pretend like I know what is happening. Over time though I’ve come to realize that even though I don’t understand but a few words, I understand their smiles and their frustration. I understand enough that ultimately I can join in their laughter and jump in when necessary to smooth over some issue they are having with a certain function on the brailler or computer. It’s definitely the most stressful part of my day, especially when the computer or brailler decide not to cooperate, but it is hands down the most enjoyable part of my day.
With only nine work days left, I look forward to each hour a day I get to spend with the Mathru teachers and I hope that this time will be enough to help them become more independent in their work.