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  • My husband took this photograph of me yesterday morning. He was driving me to the first public event of our Grupo Visión, an open group started by my blind young friend Elizabeth and myself, that once a month invites handicapped individuals, people with chronic illenesses and whoever else wants to cam and chat. Elizabeth is a woman full of energy, she has introduced courses of orientation and mobility as well as Braille classes, but until now few people take advantage of these, People who are handicapped mostly feel ashamed and hide in their homes.

    Yesterday we organized a walk to sensitize the population for the life handicappeds lead. People blindfolded themselves and were guided through the center of town. Young Basketballplayers in wheel chairs came from the capital and talked about their lives. People could try out wheel chairs and were amazed how difficult it is for a normal person to move in one. Our friend Rosendo talked to the public about his Parkinson´s Disease, how people who see him in the streets do not help him, because they think he is a drunk, how walking with a bicycle makes being in the streets possible for him.

    The local government helped and the Rotary Club, some wheel chairs were given away and some white canes.

    Usually I avoid using my white cane. I have not leart how to use it well, it is one thing more to carry and many people here do not know what it means and still run into me. But mainly I am still afraid - even with all my therapy - wisdom weighing down my head - to come out of the closet as a nearly blind person. People will see me and say - or so I fear: "Look there goes the painter Kiki, poor old lady!"

    yesterday it was good to have to out myself. I ran as well as I could with the cane and also took many photographs. Is that possible? It is. There are many stages in between seeing well and not seeing anything. I am not an impostor - how people often suppose when they see that I still walk the streets, paint, photograph or read a book. I have to concentrate so very much in the streets and still do run against people, in houses against furniture or fall doen unexpected steps.

    I promise I will learn this thing with the mobility and orientation now, I will carry that stigma - cane with me, I will be a quite happy nearly blind old lady!

    ____________________________________________________________

    If you like to see more photographs from our walk ( I am so proud that we did this!), please look here:

    Walking For Handicappeds
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