Sun,6/24: it was raining when I woke up at 6am. However, the sun appeared and it was warm again. Rome is a wonderful city. It is also very noisy and crowded.
There are 27 people on the DCYIA team, including 11 sign language interpreters: ASL, LSM, LSI(Italian Sign Language).
We all can t stay in the same place, so we are staying in four different apartments that we rented for our time here. The day by began with the Board of Directors (DCYIA) meeting from 10 till 12 30. At 1pm , we had our meeting for the entire staff. Because we are hearing and deaf, and from different countries, we had to figure out what languages we use to communicate.
All our meetings are done in spoken Spanish with interpretinging in ASL (AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE) and LSM ( MEXICAN SIGN LANGUAGE). We have four interpreters who can hear Spanish and sign ASL.
This is the only way we can guarantee effective communication
The staff meeting went from 1 till 4pm. 4 to 6pm, we put together all the registration materials for the Conference. 6 to 8pm was the meeting for the entire staff to figure out the scheduling of sign language jnterpreters for the entire week. This is difficult because we have to have English, Spanish , and Italian interpreters for all our Masses and meetings.
By the time we were done, we were all exhausted. I walked back to where I am staying,about a mile away. I was glad I could be outside. On the way home , I stopped to get a gelato, the amazing ice cream of Italy. What did I get???? Chocolate…if course!
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Sat, 6/23: 9am, we met with the staff of the Vatican Museum and Sistine chapel. 6 million people a year visit here. We came to arrange a tour for our group on Tuesday. Afterwards, I had another meeting. Walking through Rome on a warm summer day is a wonderful experience.
In the afternoon, our entire team of 27 people celebrated Mass in the chapel of St. Pius V. The chapel is 300 years old and seats about forty people. Msgr John Kennedy who is on the DCYIA Board celebrated the Mass. Fr. Shawn Carey, deaf priest from Boston , and I concelebrated along with Deacon Pat Graybill. The Mass was in ASL (American Sign Language), LSM (Mexican Sign Language), spoken English and Spanish.
Afterwards, we all went out to eat at Quattro Mori, a wonderful fish restaurant in Rome.
I am writing from very beautiful. very warm Rome. I was supposed to arrive here at 8 30am Wednesday. However, because my plane left late from Chicago, I missed my connecting flight in Zurich,Switzerland to Rome. The airline put me on a plane to Frankfurt, Germany. There I had to get on another plane and fly to Rome arriving at 1pm.
Later that day, I met Chelo Manero from Mexico . She and I work together with DCYIA. Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative for the Americas. We had dinner and I went to bed. I had been up for 36 hours. I slept for 10 hours.
Thursday morning: Rome is very sunny, very warm, and always beautiful. Thursday, Iwent for a long walk in the morning. Rome is very crowded these days with tourists from all over the world. By Noon, some of the interpreters from the US had arrived. We had a meeting to start planning for all the activities for the coming week.
By the evening, a group of young people from Mexico arrived. They were so excited to be in Rome. Fr. Shawn Carey, deaf priest from Bosto, also arrived.
Friday was a busy day. Other staff members were arriving. Pat Graybill, Mary Ann Barth , Lauren-Lynch Ryan , all deaf Board members, finally arrived. Friday evening, we had delicious Italian dinner, lots of pasta and excellent grilled vegetables. Then, a two hour staff meeting (26 staff members, presenters, priests, interpreters) with spoken Spanish, spoken English, ASL, LSM (Mexican sign language) , and start ed to learn some basic Italian signs from our Italian sign language interpreters. The young college students from Mexico went out to “explore” Rome on a Friday night. People like me went to bed!
I remember all of you in my prayers.