Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm writing this blog on the morning of my last day in Fresno. When we flew down and stayed at a hotel in San Francisco after the flight, the computer didn't work in the room. I thought I'd write my 'tomorrow' blog today. Right now Joe is rushing around the room getting us packed for the trip back home. After overnighting tonight we'll be at the airport before first sparrow's fart.

There are still two sessions to be done today before we point the car towards the city by the bay, both of them are for self advocates and both of them are on abuse prevention. The Fresno Area Down Syndrome Society, our hosts in the person of Denise, planned a wonderful trip. For two and a half days I did training for staff and parents. The last two days were kept exclusively for self advoctes.

Last night another 50 showed up for a session and they were a very active and funny group. The morning group had been fairly quiet and took a lot of work to get going, the evening group were much more participatory. At one point someone cracked a joke and Joe lost control. He just stood in front of the audience and laughed. He was supposed to be doing something but he couldn't do it. Tears streamed down his face, everyone in the room got the joke and for a few minutes we all howled. Afterwards Joe said that he thought he'd sprained his ribs from laughing so hard.

After we are done there will have been juat over 200 people with disabilities who have attended our classes on abuse prevention. They will have learned how and when to say 'no'. They will have learned about boundaries. They will have learned about touch. And they will have learned it in an atmosphere of fun and trust. I love these workshops, I love the challenge of them. But what I really love is how the audience of people with disabilities, as a general rule, 'will you well' as an instructor. They are people of big hearts and gentle egos.

I am truly honoured to have had this opportuntity. Truly thankful to be reminded about what's important. Now it's time for home.


Anonymous said...

You earned that opportunity, luck is in the eye of the beholder.

Wallow in it


Belinda said...

Big hearted people indeed, and I would have loved to have been there for Joe's loss of control. I would have probably lost mine right there with him. Laughter is the best!