When I Grow Up…

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

A common question we ask kids in the States. Not so for the deaf here in Honduras who aren’t expected to be much of anything now much less when they grow up.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked my class Monday.

A bunch of blank stares.

One kid signed, “Clean my house.” Another said, “Do laundry at my house.”

Ana Luisa and I looked at each other well aware of what we were going up against in reguards to the cultural perceptions of deaf.

After about 30 minutes of pep talk of the possibilities (wish I had my “Oh the Places You’ll Go” book), I asked again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“A construction worker, that paints and puts in lights.”

“A salon worker…painting nails and dying hair.”

“A boat mechanic.”

“A motorcycle mechanic.”

“A salesclerk at a clothing store.”


Hoping to motivate them to continue to study hard and see what skills they needed to develop to work at these places in the future we set out to visit each one.  In the process the owners of these businesses in the communities are seeing that the deaf are intelligent and capable!

Our first two trips were last week to a mechanic shop (photos here) and a boatyard (photos here).  They were both hands on and the kids got to change a tire, drive a boat lift, and get on different kinds of boats.  The students learned so much!

two of my students driving the boat lift


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