We hid in the trees to sign

Post by Eddie Hokianga

Kia Ora, my name is Eddie. My old sign name is this, now it is this.

I want to talk about the past. When I was little, 3 years old, my grandparents looked after me. They themselves took me to Christchurch, to Sumner School for the Deaf in Christchurch. I learnt from the adults there, saw some adults using sign language. It made me wonder.

Then I left that school and went to Hawkes Bay, to Onekawa School. The first time I met the Deaf children there I was shy, and nervous about meeting them but then I improved.

Some were oral, some, well… we were not allowed to use sign language. When it was lunchtime we would go and hide in the trees and sign. When a teacher came we quickly stopped signing and just use our mouth/lips. It’s hard to do that. It was the same in Christchurch. We had to hide sign language there too.

That’s all I will say about that.

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