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Hannah's vocation for deaf students

Paula Tagivetaua
Saturday, June 11, 2011

HANNAH Whalley was like a student talking in sign language to students of Gospel School for the Deaf at Samabula.

She was in casual clothes ù shorts and slippers but she caught my attention.

I had gone there to see her and what she was doing and she told me how she came to be at Gospel School for the Deaf.

Hannah, 18, volunteered to come all the way from London to Fiji and help teach the deaf students at Gospel.

She found out about Gospel School for the Deaf from one of the former directors of the school.

Hannah is deaf but is a smart girl.

She talked in sign language with the help of an interpreter.

"I paid my own fare from London to Fiji to come and help," she said.

"I can teach and help the students learn about varied subjects.

"At the moment, I help them know about the functions of the body."

Hannah has just finished college and is taking a break before she goes to university at Suffolk, Manchester.

She went to a deaf and oral school at Newbury in London.

Her parents are deaf, her older brother can hear but her younger brother, the baby of the family is deaf and autistic.

Hannah likes to go swimming and said she is good at backstroke.

At university, she will take a course in psychology.

She arrived in Fiji last Friday and said she loves the place and the people, especially the deaf students of Gospel she stays with at their hostel.

She will spend two and a half months helping out at the Gospel School for the Deaf before she returns home to university.

On Saturday, she went to town and "did some window shopping".

On Tuesday, she baked some cookies and shared it with her students and they liked it.

"They finished the cookies.

"They were just plain cookies," she said.

Some friends of Gospel School for the Deaf plan to take Hannah out to Nukulau Island for a picnic on Monday ù Queen's Birthday public holiday.

"I am excited at going by boat," she said and is looking forward to the trip.

For the next two months and more, Hannah will be a regular face at the Gospel School for the Deaf, helping out in her own time to educate the deaf students about things she knows from London.





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