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Issue 6/2008, March 17 2008 (No. 256)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 006-08:
ALERT-EYED (1)


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I carried out an experiment. I plugged my ears with ear plugs and went out onto the street. I was hardly able to hear any more. Only the noise of cars, trams and roadworks was heard. I immediately began to walk more slowly. I got afraid of having an accident. A few minutes later I saw a postwoman I know. She was hunched over her bags. I spoke to her, but I spoke too quietly. She didn't raise her head and so I absented myself.
 
I entered a shop and bought some groceries. The cashier told me the total amount. I wasn't able to hear it, I was only able to read it off from the indicator panel of the cash register. I felt a little bit insecure.
 
Near the shop I saw elderly people who were trimming a tree. I felt a sudden impulse to ask the people if they intended to fell the tree. Before asking them I took a searching look at them. How would they react to my hardness of hearing? They seemed to be friendly people. I asked them my question. I had to bring my head near to her's in order to be able to hear her answer. The situation gave me an idea of how difficult it is always to ask fellow men to speak up.
 
I finally got to my destination. It was a short street which connects a tram junction with the marketplace. I watched the passer-bys. I noticed that male pensioners were often smiling to themselves. Elderly women were often looking grave. Many young male immigrants - possibly from the Near East - passed. Many of them looked resolute, almost a little bit defiant. They were walking quickly as if they had to keep an important appointment (such as a job interview for example).
 
I dared to enter an exclusive privat bank without being a customer of the bank. The facial expressions of the employees made a great impression on me. A young employee welcomed an elderly costumer in the entrance hall. I saw that he was looking at the man with all his concentration. I felt his strain. After a while an employee spoke to me. I confused the name of the bank with the name of an other bank and I saw that the employee made an indignant face.
 
photomontage 'head and street'
 
Photomontage 'head and street'
 
I entered a bookshop. The characters of the titles appeared to me as good friends, but the brightly coulored dust jackets of the children's books tormented my eyes.
 
After I had taken the plugs out of my ears, I again heard the constant hissing of traffic, engine noises of cars and busses, rattling bicycles, individual human voices, babble, ringing of bells and announcements over the public address.
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Maryknoll Cambodia and the Finnish Association of the Deaf jointly sponsor one of the projects of the Deaf Development Programme. This project promotes skills development and includes basic education, job training, and sign language interpreting. Every year DDP meets with an FAD Project Coordinator from Finland to discuss the progress of the project. Please read Charlie Dittmeier's reports about this meetings.

The international poster organisation Loesje has started a project to train young people from all over Europe and Asia in how to organise and coordinate information campaigns about the Millennium Development Goals. These goals are set by the United Nations to fight poverty and to improve living standards world wide.

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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Saturday, March 29 2008


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