If anyone had told me three years ago what an amazing difference SSiW would make to this ‘deaf/hard-of-hearing old gal living in Western Canada’–I wouldn’t have believed it.
So for those of you who have just started recently, or have reached a plateau, or some days wonder where this could lead–the sky’s the limit, believe me. For me that literally means I will soon be up in the sky, flying half way around the world to help celebrate the SSiW 10th Anniversary in Caernarfon. I used to read with curiosity and envy about the Bootcamps, so create my own ‘at home versions’ So even if you will not be at the ‘Parti’ this time, read on, then dream and make your dream happen… And join in the celebration wherever you are–I will raise a glass or few to you!
Ever since that first fateful lesson on-line I was ‘hooked’ on the idea of speaking Welsh. But–and it was a big BUT, I am stone deaf on one side and profoundly hard-of hearing the other. What to do? I started a thread on this Forum explaining that I often didn’t know what the throat-cleaning or toilet-flushing sounds were–‘ch’ and ll’ apparently, but then there were all kinds of other little chiffs and ughs that needed identifying, however, folk here leapt to my help–some becoming real friends, the angels
To cut a long story short, this is how one thing can lead to another… since starting on SSiW here are the amazing things that have enriched and changed my life:
– Gained far more confidence in expressing myself (in English and Welsh)–by not worrying about making mistakes, but trusting in the kindness of others to catch the drift–and sharing the laugh if I misheard,
– Signed on for an M.A. in Celtic Studies (through the UWTSD distance-learning programme) and can report that I am well on the way to completing it, scoring 85% on the Welsh Module
– Discovered new hearing-aid technology that gives me surround sound and far better ‘hearing’ than in the past 25 years, but comes with all kinds of nifty gizmos that allow me to connect directly into the lessons–still not fully cracked Slack properly, but again some very patient friends here are helping me,
– Found and enjoy the Vancouver Welsh Society which is lots of fun and very active (they have their own pub too–the Red dragon, of course),
– I have visited Patagonia, and yeh–will very soon be in North Wales hiking in Snowdonia before the ‘Parti’ when I will be able to meet the folk whose help have made the journey so wonderful.
Folks, I could go on and on, but what I want to say is ‘Dream big’ and draw energy from others here. Set yourself some goals, not just about speaking Welsh but how gaining friends, confidence and a whole new perspective can reveal wonderful horizons. When I began, I thought I was in my ‘twilight years’, but quite honestly ‘life has never felt so good’–so it’s been worth every joy-filled, frustrating moment thanks to the constant encouragement of our ‘tutors’ and fellow-learners.
So ‘go pawb go’!!!