Tuesday, 26 July 2011

THE MYSTERIOUS PRESENT.

When I boarded at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, a local family let me stay at their place during certain weekends. I deeply appreciated their care for me, being that I was only allowed to return home during Christmas and summer holidays. Staying in their cosy home, rather than a utilitarian dorm, was a welcome break for me.

In Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I wrote about the mysterious gift this family gave me as a going away present for the summer. I had no clue what it would do until my mom helped me set it up.

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Before I left for the summer, the Rupert family gave me a strange gift of coloured plastic chunks and a bag filled with clear viscous liquid. Once I arrived home with them, Mom read the instructions and learned that it was a kit which would grow stalagmite-like objects in jars. She placed those coloured chunks of plastic in a clear fish bowl, mixed the liquid with water according to the instructions printed on the bag, and let the contents stand for a day.

Since the bowl was shallow, the stalactites resembled mushrooms. Even so, I thought the kit was amazing. "I wonder what other plastic objects would grow in there," I exclaimed as I gazed at the bowl.

"I don't know but the plastic needs to have a rough surface for it to grow," Mom said. She then placed the bowl on the fireplace mantel where I admired it whenever I walked past it.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this compelling story. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.