My thoughts on 2022. Part 2

My gedagtes oor 2022. Deel 2

This blog was written in Afrikaans by Nicolaas and translated to English by Mum to reach more readers. Please scroll down for the English version.

My gedagtes oor 2022. Deel 2

My jaar was woes!

Dit was woes lekker, maar ook woes hard en woes swaar.

Alles was uiteindelik woes goed.

My oorwinning saam met Elizabeth Vosseller (“EV”) by my ou skool.

Van links na regs: Me. Elizabeth Vosseller (I-ASC), Me.Cecile de Villiers (Langerugskool, Worcester), Zekwande Mathenjwa (Zekwande Foundation), ek

EV is die persoon wat my lewe verander het deur vir my mamma te leer van S2C (Spelling to Communicate).  Dit is haar werk wat my lewe, en my vriende wat soos ek is, se lewens verander.

Haar metode het vir my hoop gebring toe ek al lankal hoop opgegee het op kommunikasie.

Haar manier van doen het my lewe verander van ‘n kind sonder n toekoms na ‘n kind met n mooi lewe wat hoop het op ‘n toekoms.

Ek wil so graag hê dat die kinders wat saam met my in die skool was, wat ook “non speaking” is, ook hierdie lewe wat ek nou het, moet hê.

Dit is vir my baie swaar om te dink aan my vriende wat saam met my non speaking is wat nog steeds nie kan kommunikeer nie. My hart ken hulle seer, hulle hoop wat nie meer hoop nie, hulle moed wat laag is, en hulle seerkry as mense dink hulle verstaan nie wat ander mense sê oor en voor hulle nie.

My droom was nog altyd om my naaste eerste te help voor ek my tyd aan mense wat ek nie ken nie spandeer. Nou het ons die beste gedoen wat ons kan doen deur vir EV te kry om self te kom vertel oor hoe haar metode werk by die skool waar ek was voor ek met my regte skool loopbaan begin het.

Haar besoek aan my ou skool was die grootste droom wat vir my hierdie jaar bewaarheid is. Dit is selfs groter as my droom om self skool te kan gaan, dat my vriende ook kan leer kommunikeer. Ek hoop en bid dat haar moeite om na Worcester te kom vrugte afwerp sodat ons ook ander non-speakers hoop kan gee.

Ek was baie bekommerd toe ons die praatjie by my ou skool gaan by woon het. My grootste vrees was dat ek nie my lyf sou kon beheer nie . Ek wou so graag vir my ou juffrouens wys hoe mooi ek gevorder het sodat hulle kan sien wat se verskil kommunikasie maak in my lewe en in my vriende se lewens kan maak.

As ek op my senuwees raak, is die kanse baie skraal dat ek my lyf gaan kan beheer. Ek moes baie hard werk aan myself om in sulke omstandighede in beheer te bly van my lyf.

Hierdie was ‘n baie belangrike dag in my lewe, want dit was my grootste oorwinning oor my lyf.

Om so lank te kon stil sit, in die saal waar ek nooit toegelaat was om ‘n saal byeenkoms by te woon terwyl ek in die skool was nie, is die uiterste uitdaging gewees vir my. Om te sê dat ek dit met vleënde vaandels geslaag het, is sagkens gestel.

Ek het my lyf so mooi onder beheer gehou dat ek myself totaal verstom het aan wat moontlik is. Dat ek dit nooit sou kon doen voor ek kon kommunikeer nie, is maar wors. Ek sou nie tien minute kon hou nie, maar omdat my hele lewe verander het as gevolg van my kommunikasie, het dit my in staat gestel om dit te kon doen.

Voorheen, toe ek in hierdie skool was, moes ek baie sterk pille gedrink het, want my lyf was net te uit beheer oor alles wat in my kop aangegaan het en wat nie kon uitkom nie. Kommunikasie het die pille nie meer nodig gemaak nie. Nou is kommunikasie my enigste pil vir al my uitdagings.

My ou juffrouens het my gesien. Hulle het gesien hoe my lewe verander het. Ek het gesien hoe hulle vir my kyk. Hulle kan nie stry dat my lewe handomkeer verander het nie.

Dit is nie uit my eie goedgeid wat dit gebeur het nie. Dit was baie harde werk om te kom tot waar my lewe nou is. Dit was nie maklik nie, maar dit was altyd die moeite werd, al het dit soms swaar gegaan.

Ek is baie dankbaar vir EV, en my vriend Zekwande van die Zekwande Foundation, dat hulle soveel moeite gedoen het om vir my te help om die S2C boodskap na my vriende wat in my omgewing is , te bring. Julle het my ‘n kans gegee wat ek nooit sal vergeet nie. Baie dankie dat julle soveel moeite doen om S2C moontlik te maak vir alle “non speakers”.

Behalwe daarvoor dat ek soveel sukses met my lyf gehad het,  het ek ook nog die voorreg gehad om my eie woorde te hoor in die skoolsaal. My mamma het my woorde voorgelees. Om vir mense met my eie woorde te vertel hoe om non-speaking te wees en hoeveel dankbaarheid ek het vir EV, was vir my baie spesiaal.

Na EV se praatjie het ons nog ‘n kans gekry om met ander mense te praat wat ook daar was. Om ander ouers moed te gee, is die spesiaalste ding wat ons al gedoen het. Dit was ‘n voorreg om met hulle te kon praat.

Hier is my woorde weer:

Nicolaas se toespraak by Langerugskool, Worcester.

14 September 2022

“Dit is goed dat ons oor die metode praat. Daar is die siekundige aspek ook wat ons moet onthou. Kinders wat nie kan praat nie, kry swaar. Selfs al lyk hulle okay, hulle kry elke dag swaar. Dit is nie lekker om nie te kan praat nie. Dit maak hulle depressief en hartseer en angstig en gefrustreerd. Ons vergeet nie van hulle nie.

Ek is oneindig dankbaar vir EV dat sy Worcester toe kom. Ek hoop dat haar liefde vir ons nie-praters, ons vriende wat nog nie hul stemme gekry het nie, sal bereik. Elkeen wat die boodskap vandag hoor, julle is bevoorreg om dit uit haar mond te hoor. Sy is ‘n vrou wat regtig haar hart in haar werk sit, maar haar kop gebruik om planne te maak om ons te help. Sy is nederig oor haarself, maar haar werk verander regtig lewens. As dit van my afgehang het, het sy al lankal ‘n Nobelprys gehad. So, kom ons luister wat sy sê. Vir haar sal dit meer werd wees as die Nobel-prys, as sy volgende keer Worcester toe kom en al die non-speakers kan spel.

Zekwande, my vriend, jy is my hero. Baie dankie dat jy vir ons vriende wat nog nie kan kommunikeer nie, so hard werk. Jy het my stem vir president.

Ons was so gelukkig om vir twee dae deel te wees van die werk wat in die Kaap gedoen was. Die liefde en aanvaarding wat ek daar ervaar het, was ongelooflik. Daar was “actually” mense wat opgewonde was om met my te werk. Hierdie liefde en aanvaarding is iets wat ek vir alle non-speakers gun – ‘n wêreld  waarin ons nie net verduur word nie, maar gerespekteer word vir ons harte en woorde wat so diep onder ons moeilike lywe begrawe word.

Baie dankie vir elkeen van julle wat gekom het vandag. Ons kan nie blyer wees oor enige geskenk, as wat ons is oor julle vandag hier is. Ons het gebid vir mense wat ‘n verskil kan maak, om hier te wees en dit is julle wat gestuur is om die boodskap te hoor.

Ons non-speakers het hulp nodig. Ons kan nie self oor daai brug kom na Vryheid nie. Ons het hulp nodig. So, as elkeen van julle net die boodskap kan uitdra dat ons verstaan, al lyk dit asof ons nie doen nie, sal dit al klaar help.

Ons hoop dat die non-speaker gemeenskap hierdie kant van die berg nog baie gaan groei. Ek sal graag help waar ek kan, so vra my gerus.

Baie dankie dat ek my sê ook kan sê. Nou is dit EV se beurt.”

My thoughts on 2022. Part 2

My year was hectic!

It was hectic exciting, but also hectic hard and hectic challenging.

Everything turned out hectic good.

My victory with Elizabeth Vosseller (“EV”) at my old school.

From left to right: Ms Elizabeth Vosseller (I-ASC), Ms Cecile de Villiers (Langerugschool, Worcester), Zekwande Mathenjwa (Zekwande Foundation), me

EV is the person who changed my life by teaching my mum about S2C (Spelling to Communicate). It is her work that changed my life, and the lives of my friends who are like me.

Her method brought me hope when I had long since given up hope on communication.

Her way of doing things changed my life from a child without a future to a child with a beautiful life who has hope for a future.

I so badly want the children who were in school with me, who are also “non speaking”, to also have this life that I have now. It’s very hard for me to think of my friends who are also non-speaking and still can’t communicate. My heart knows their hurts, their hopes that no longer hope, their courage that is low, and their hurt when people think they don’t understand what other people are saying about them and in front of them.

My dream has always been to help my neighbours first before I spend my time with people I don’t know. Now we’ve done the best we can do by getting EV to come and tell herself about how her method works at the school I was at before I started my current school career.

Her visit to my old school was the biggest dream come true for me this year. It is even bigger than my dream to be able to go to school, that my friends can also learn to communicate. I hope and pray that her effort in coming to Worcester pays off so that we can give other non-speakers hope as well.

I was very worried when we went to attend the talk at my old school. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to control my body. I wanted so badly to show my old teachers how beautifully I have progressed so that they can see what a difference communication makes in my life and in my friends’ lives. When I get on my nerves, the chances are very slim that I’m going to be able to control my body. I had to work very myself to stay in control of my body in such circumstances.

This was a very important day in my life because it was my biggest victory over my body. To be able to sit still for so long, in the hall where I was never allowed to attend a assembly or other meeting while in school, is the ultimate challenge for me. To say that I passed this test with flying colours, is to put it mildly.

I kept my body so nicely under control that I found myself totally amazed at what was possible. I would never have been able to do this before I could communicate. I wouldn’t be able to last ten minutes, but because my whole life changed as a result of my communication, it allowed me to do it.

Previously, when I was in this school, I had to take very strong pills, because my body was just too out of control over everything that was going on in my head and that could not get out. Communication no longer made the pills necessary. Now communication is my only pill for all my challenges.

My old teachers saw me. They saw how my life changed. I saw how they looked at me. They can’t argue that my life has changed completely. It’s not because I am so good, that it happened. It was a lot of hard work to get to where my life is now. It wasn’t easy, but it was always worth it, even if it was difficult at times.

I am very grateful to EV, and my friend Zekwande of the Zekwande Foundation, for putting so much effort into helping me bring the S2C message to my friends who are in my area. You gave me a chance I’ll never forget. Thank you so much for putting so much effort into making S2C possible for all “non speakers”.

Apart from having so much success with my body, I also had the privilege of hearing my own words in the school hall. My mum read my words. Telling people with my own words how to be non-speaking and how much gratitude I have for EV was very special to me.

After EV’s talk, we got a chance to talk to other people who were also there. Giving other parents courage is the most special thing we’ve ever done. It was a privilege to be able to talk to them.

Here are my words again.

Nicolaas’s speech at Langerugschool, Worcester.

14 September 2022

It is good that we are talking about the method.

There is an emotional aspect that we need to remember. Children who cannot speak are suffering. Even if they look okay, they struggle every day.

It’s not nice not to be able to talk. It makes them depressed and sad and anxious and frustrated. We don’t forget about them.

I am infinitely grateful to EV for coming to Worcester. I hope that her love for us non-speakers, will reach our friends who have not yet received their voices. Everyone who hears the message today, you are privileged to hear it out of her mouth. She is a woman who really puts her heart into her work but uses her head to make plans to help us. She is humble about herself, but her work really changes lives. If I had a say in it, she would have been rewarded a Nobel Prize a long time ago. So, let’s listen to what she says. For her, it will be worth more than the Nobel Prize, if she comes to Worcester next time and all the non-speakers can spell.

Zekwande, my friend, you are my hero. Thank you so much for working so hard for our friends who can’t communicate yet. You have my vote for president.

We were so lucky to be part of the work that was done in the Cape for two days. The love and acceptance I experienced there was incredible. There were actually people who were excited to work with me. This love and acceptance is something I wish for  all non-speakers – a world in which we are not only endured, but respected for our hearts and words buried so deeply beneath our troubled bodies.

Thank you so much to each and every one of you who came today. We couldn’t be happier about any gift than we are about you being here today. We prayed for people who could make a difference, to be here, and it is you who have been sent to hear the message.

Our non-speakers need help. We can’t get across that bridge to Freedom ourselves. We need help. So, if each of you can just convey the message that we understand, even if we don’t look like we do, it will already help.

We hope that the non-speaker community will grow a lot more this side of the mountain. I’d be happy to help where I can, so feel free to ask me. Thank you so much for being able to say my say as well. Now it’s EV’s turn.'”

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