Posted by Emily Block | 0 comments

Lhasa Fun in Tibet! (Day 2 Part 1)

Sorry about the title, but there are Lhasa opportunities for puns in Lhasa.   :0P  

Breakfast at the hotel in Tibet was just as good as in Beijing.  Absolutely fantastic!  I wish I had four stomachs so I could try everything!  

Our first item on the agenda was a "service visit" to a school for blind students.  (spoilers, we didn't do any service.)  Walking through Lhasa was nice.  You get a very different feel walking through a city as opposed to driving through it.  

The school visit was really interesting, even if we didn't do any service.  We filed into an outdoor meeting room and one of the teachers who had charisma coming out his ears explained a bit about the school and blind culture in Lhasa.  In the past (and still in the larger community) people who are blind are expected to become signers or massage therapists. The school does have training in those areas, but in many others as well.  They make sure that the kids are not limited in their options.  He told us one story of a little boy who always wanted to be a taxi driver.  EVeryone told him he couldn't because he was blind, but the school helped him start a taxi business.  Now he is a very successful businessman who works with taxis everyday, similar to his dream.  :0)  I really liked the philosophy at the school as being encouraging instead of limiting.  Too many of the schools or orphanages for kids with disabilities are much more paternalistic and pity the students.  

The students lived at the school during the school year and stayed with their families (mostly on farms) during the winter months.  It was a tight squeeze, but it looked cozy.  There was also a kitchen and other homey areas in addition to the classrooms.

When we toured the classrooms, it felt a bit strange.  It went back to the idea of watching people like they are animals in the zoo.  The teacher encouraged us to take pictures of the students although we didn't get a chance to actually interact with them.  

There was also a computer lab with assistive technology so the students would be fully versed in computers when they graduated.

As a side note, I spotted a cat who I voted as most likely to have rabies.  It was foaming at the mouth and acting quite strange.  So naturally, I go up to it and take a picture.  haha


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