We arrived at the center at 7:30 this morning to a large group of families waiting for us. Little girls in brightly colored dresses and boys in neatly pressed pants played with each other in the school yard while their moms and dads sat with tired eyes on benches under the eaves. Many had arrived hours earlier, some after traveling all night, to be here today to receive new hearing aids for their children. We had a schedule of appointments and previously assured these families that they would be given hearing aids, but they came early anyway.
Our audiology program participants were paired up with each family and went through the entire cycle with them –hearing testing, hearing aid fitting, and consultation — with the oversight of our professionals. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to practice what they had learned in our program in a real-world setting with families. By the end, our students were doing much of the work themselves, their confidence had greatly increased.
We take careful records of each child that receives a hearing aid from the Global Foundation. All of the families we saw today come from schools in our Deaf Education Program with teachers and therapists enrolled in our training programs. So, we will be able to monitor their progress over time.
Last night, one of the participants in our audiology program treated our team and the audiology participants to a special dinner at a local restaurant. The food was wonderful and the company a lot of fun. It wasn’t long before the Vietnamese and Americans started up a competition to see how many children’s songs we knew…for the next hour or so we sang back and forth until finally the Americans started to run out of ideas. The Vietnamese kept going strong….completely outdoing us in the song department. We finally waved white napkins in surrender, humbled but loving every second of the experience too!