This is my fifth post in the seven-day quest to now raise $2200 to provide not just 7 roofs, but roofs for all 14 Guatemalan families. In these seven days, I’m posting updates, answering your questions and sharing insights gained. This post elaborates on why I chose to focus on Guatemala and #loveroofs. So far, we’ve raised $1590–only $610 more to go! Please consider donating and spread the word.

Have you ever been in the right place at the right time without meaning to be? In a previous trip to Guatemala, my mom was in one of the villages we’ll be visiting. If you visit this village during the day, you will see many children and few adults. Most of the adults are working out in the fields and the children have no where to go and nothing to do. The only food they have are the limes that grow on the trees nearby whose citric acid breaks down their teeth and mouth.

Meeting Asa

While walking in the village, my mom noticed three children walking ahead of her. One of the children, she noticed wasn’t responding to the other two. On a hunch, she started clapping–still no response from the 8-9 year old girl. Catching up with the girls, she realized her hunch was right–that the one girl, whose name is Asa, was deaf.

Pulling out her compact mirror, my mom worked with Asa, making sounds and showing her how to use the mirror to watch herself try to mimic the sound. My mom then had Ana touch my mom’s throat and then touch her own throat to feel the vibration of sound. We later learned that Asa was not only deaf, but was also thought to be mute, as she had never said a word, nor made any sound. Asa was not born deaf and mute–rather she became deaf when her father threw her against the wall when she was a little younger than 3 years old.

Within 15 minutes of working with my mom (who just so happens to have a degree in speech pathology), Asa made her first sound.

Finding Your Voice

On this trip, there is a chance that my mom will get to see Asa again and that I will get to meet her. We hope this happens, as the moment was meaningful for not just Asa, but also for my mom. In March, Asa was seen again in the village and the picture to the right was taken. Do you see what’s written on her shirt? Maybe, someone meant for my mom to be in the right place at the right time.

For those of us who are on Facebook, have a blog or Twitter, we take for granted our ability to have a voice–to express ourselves. Imagine 1) not having that opportunity and on top of that 2) never learning how to communicate not just words, but also sounds.

Let us be thankful, willing and giving.