From My Window In Cameroon

Hi Matt
I see Mongolia and Cameroon share lots of thing in common. We do not organize high school graduation ceremonies, but we have national tests also in June for the Freshmen, Juniors, and Seniors (9th, 11th, and 12th graders) attending the Francophone school system (Cameroon is a bilingual country. We officially speak French and English). The kids attending Anglo-Saxon school system write a different test, and only Sophomores and Seniors are concerned (10th and 12th graders). The kids have to pass those tests to move on, otherwise they would stay in the same class and repeat it for the next school year until they succeed their respective national exam.

During school day, students in Cameroon stay in one classroom, as your students do, and the teachers are the ones who move between classes. Only private schools have a school bus (but not all of them). Depending on how far is the school, some students walk to school, other board a taxi. Wealthy parents drive the kids to school with their personal cars or they hire drivers for the job.
Summer school is organised by few private schools, and generally it is for students who did not perform well during last school year. For summer vacation, children in Cameroon do various activities. Some go out to the country side to help their grandparents who do farm work, others visit family and relatives. But most of them get engage in business activities such as selling stuff in the market to make money. They use that money for their personal expenses and sometimes they even help their parents to pay for their school fees and the school material (books, notebooks, pens, rulers, etc).

Guess what, from my window I see also herds of cows walking back and forth in front my door, going to the cow market which is not very far from my house lol (But that is not very common to see all over the town). The cows are followed by men, walking hours from the train station to the market in order to be sold. They are reared in a different region, very far from mine; so they use trains to reach our regional market.

It‚Äôs always good to know people elsewhere live same life as we do ūüôā

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From My Window- In Mongolia

Here in Mongolia, we also have a large summer break starting in June.  Our 12th grade classes just graduated from high school and now have to prepare for national tests, also in June.  We do not have a summer school as most students go out to the country side to help their parents who herd animals.  Some students do go to camps elsewhere.  I have seen a couple of people using sign language here and it would be interesting to find out the differences between Mongolian and American sign Language.

This title really should be “From My Front Door” since my traditional Mongolian Ger doesn’t have windows (haha) but i can still tell you about the beautiful things I see standing outside my home.¬† First thing that happens when i step out of my Ger is that my hat flies off because my village is very windy due to the mountain air.¬† My school is directly in front of my home and there is a large hill behind it.¬† There are trees off in the distance but not close enough to walk to.¬† It is very common for me to see large bands of horses walking across the hillside, followed by a man on a horse or motorcycle who herds them back and forth so that they can eat the grass.¬† Sheep, goats, and cows are even more common and many cows walk through town.¬† Many of them eat the grass around my school.¬† We also have many birds flying around.¬† Large black birds and pigeons are very common but sometimes you will see a giant steppe Eagle soaring through the sky above you.¬† When you look west there is a small lake and you can see large mountains far off into the distance.

So our views are very different (haha) but each of them are beautiful and interesting.

I do have some questions for you.  Do you take a bus to school?  How long does it take?  Many of my students either live in town or live in dormitories throughout the school year.  Also, do you change classrooms for every subject? My students here stay in one classroom and the teachers are the ones who move between classes.  Do you think you would enjoy that kind of system?

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From my window in the US

Good morning

It is school vacation here now for us in the US. We have a week off-the new return for about 6 weeks. Then we have a long summer vacation. ¬†Many students return for 3 weeks of summer school. In our classes we communicate using our voices and we use American Sign Language. It is really a choice… ¬†From you tube- I ‘ve seen that there are many deaf people living in Mongolia. They also use a different sign language since it is not universal.

Since I am home the week I can tell you what I see from my window here. I live near a forest so there are many trees. There are a few flowers beginning to bloom but it is still about 60 degrees here and windy so the temperature is probably in the 50’s now. ¬† Sometimes in the forest I see a bear walking around. They really are just looking for food- like bird feeders or people cooking outside. The bears don’t hurt people, although I wouldn’t get very close to one! Bears hibernate and they are just coming out of their caves in the spring. We don’t see them very often, so it is very exciting when we do.21857808

This is what I saw on my way to school- These are wild turkeys. I see them many times here in New England. What do you see from your window in Mongolia?12974431_10209139464306238_9180821999279240648_n

Do you have questions for us? Mongolia looks like a beautiful country!





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Land of Blue Skies

Hello and “Sain baina uu?”

My name is Matthew Hudson and I am a current Peace Corps volunteer serving in Mongolia.  I am an English teacher working at a small school in Hovsgul Province, the northern most province in the country.

Hovsgul is a very beautiful place.  It has a large fresh water lake that is clear enough to see the bottom of.  it also sits in a national park larger than Yellowstone!  Hovsgul has the most livestock than any other province in Mongolia and is home to a small unique group of people known as the Tsaatan people, or reindeer herders, who live far up north near the Russian border.

Here, I co-teach with three mongolian teachers of English and cover grades 5 through 12.  The school is very small here and only has 400 students total (K-12).  Most of my students are excited to answer your questions and offer their own.  So please, ask any questions you would like and lets get to know each other!

I will try and keep up as much as possible considering internet is sometimes limited here and we have a full 12 hour difference between us!


The steppe of Hovsgul. The town is situated nicely in a narrow valley. only dirt roads lead in and out of it.

Keep the questions coming!


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Life in Cameroon

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Kristel showed us pictures about education for deaf students in Cameroon.

1. As in Rwanda, families must pay to send children to school. Students only attend
school until the 6th grade! Then they are mainstreamed, go to vocational training, or stay home.

2. All children help their parents at home. This is learning skills for life.
It is not the same thing as child labor.

3. Cameroon is bilingual. One school for the deaf is French and one is English.

4. When Kristel returns to Cameroon, she will help deaf students in Cameroon. Her goal is for students in Cameroon to attend Gallaudet someday.

Rachel Chaikof


…. my journey is to teach the Americans and other people around the world about a country of which they know so little and keep my family and friends updated on my whereabouts, I also hope that I can educate people about the potential that people with disabilities can offer to the world. While I have Usher Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes deafness and blindness, nothing keeps me from achieving my dreams!


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Education in Rwanda

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Isobel Blakely has been in Rwanda for the last year.  She has just returned home to the UK.

I hope you have read her comment on our blog. Just in case you have not,  I am including her comment here for you.

Hello everyone. I hope you enjoy reading my Blogs about Rwanda. There is lots to be done here. Deaf children from the rural villages (85%) of the population, have a very difficult time. There is no school for them to go to, no-one to teach them sign language, and most people think that they are a sort of curse on their family. They have no way of communicating, apart from gesture and pointing, or pulling someone to what they want. They cannot even say ‚ÄėHello, my name is ‚Ķ‚Ķ.‚Äô. In fact, they dont know what their names are because they cant read either. How lucky are you!

Please go to her blog and write a comment. She will answer you! Just remember the rules about posting on a blog!  : ) You may use my email address,

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Maybe it‚Äôs the ‚ÄėHearing‚Äô who are impaired‚Ķ

India arguably has the largest deaf population in the world, but it is said that the number of certified interpreters are 250 for around 18 million deaf people! Sign language is still not an officially recognized language by the government. The country has no captions on television, no instructions for deaf people at public places, no TTY, no instruction through sign language in deaf schools and no deaf college or a university for deaf people.

I hope the exhibition of this documentary helps deaf community in India to strengthen their fight for their basic rights, like the recognition and adoption of sign language in schools and in the community at large; awareness about deaf culture and motivating the entertainment media in the country to adopt captioning.

Vidyut Latay
Director/Producer-Beyond Silence

Post your questions and comments.

Students: Remember the rules for posting on a blog.



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Summer School

This first week in summer school we discussed the influence of ancient Greek culture on our lives now. Did you know they invented the bikini and the hula hoop?! More importantly they also required people to vote and developed democracy. The also invented coins! Many things we use today were invented by the Greeks long ago. Fascinating!

Next week we will learn about some inspiring people who are helping deaf schools in Africa.
Isobel Blakley who recently worked at a school for the deaf in Rwanda, Kristel from Cameroon, and author Josh Swiller. Josh Swiller was a member of the deaf Peace Corps. We can also blog with Rachel Chaikof at She is currently in Cameroon with the Peace Corps.

Think of questions to ask them!

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Blog from Rwanda

I found this blog post today from Isobel Blakely.  She is currently working at a school for the deaf in Rwanda.
This is an interesting blog to read. ¬†You can comment on our blog or comment on¬†Isobel’s blog.



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UAE Deaf Education Workshops

Hi All — Here I am in the UAE again! ¬†This trip, I’m teaching boys and girls at the Al Ain program for Deaf children American Sign Language and English as a Second….no, wait….4th language. ¬†THEY are teaching me Emirati Sign Language, and the true meaning of patience, mixed in with a lot of great fun! ¬†You imagine you have frustrations getting teens¬†to leave their phones untouched during class? ¬†Forget about it! ¬†I have one young lady who slips her mobile, with ongoing email…messaging… whatever…between pages in her textbook. ¬†I look over and you could drive a Range Rover through the gap it leaves. ¬†Then there’s her friend who “hides”¬†her full-sized iPad between the pages.

Well, they’re full of mischief, but when focusing on language acquisition and reading and writing, they do excellent work! ¬†The 8 girls are between 14 and 21. ¬†For this 8-week program, the four oldest drive in from home to attend the 2-hour class Sunday through Thursday. ¬†The others are full-time students in the Al Ain program which goes through 9th grade. They take all the usual high school courses, plus Arabic language and Islamic faith classes. ¬†They, like the 6 boys who come to my class regularly, hope to continue their high school learning in the U.S. ¬†They are all quite capable!

This is my first posting. ¬†I’ll publish it now, and play around with adding photos this afternoon.

Bye for now,

Patty P

Teacher of the Deaf, ESL instructor

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Silent impressions of the Overland Expo-

This blog was written by Kyle Rosenberg.  Many of you may know him.  Here is the question from his blog..

‚ÄúIf you were engaged in an activity or gathering, such as, say, the Overland Expo, or an expedition in which a group effort were necessary to get from point A to point B, who do you feel would be a more challenging travel companion: 1) An international traveler who neither speaks, reads, or writes English, or 2) A deaf person who is fluent in English but cannot speak, hear, or understand English and relies on American Sign Language as his primary means of communication?‚ÄĚ


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Welcome ASL students and bloggers from Poland!

We have some new visitors to our blog- students learning ASL from different parts of the US and a class of university students from Poland who are deaf and learning ASL.We’re not sure why it doesn’t show up on our map- but we welcome all of you!

Feel free to comment on our blog- any story that interest you or ask questions!

We welcome your participation!

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