Monday, August 14, 2006

My Life During the Month of July: Part II.

(This is a continuation of the previous blog entry.)

I got off the floor that I needed to get off on. Thankfully, there were people on the elevator that were going to the same room where I was going. I just trailed behind them. I got lucky. I didn’t know if I would be lucky like that again. But I made it to where I was going that night. That was a huge burden off my shoulders.

The next few days were filled with numerous moments that I had to walk in blind courage. I say that because I had to make use of the courage that lies within me, without having any physical sight or any insight of what was going to happen from moment to moment. Every morning, I would get up and pump up myself to conquer my day, without fear and any tangible evidence that I was going to be okay. I would grab my cane and head out of my room, not really sure where I was going, yet certain that I needed to go. And even more certain that I needed to make it where I was going…

There were a lot of helpful people in the hotel. The staff of the hotel, other visitors, and the sighted participants of the blind convention were always asking those of us who had little to no vision if we needed some assistance. Because I’m not the kind of sister that minds getting help, my answer was usually “yes.” I don’t see any point being lost, looking lost, bumping into other lost blind people, and staying lost: only to be able to say that I’m independent. A truly independent person knows when to consider assistance. Interdependence is the way I live.

Back to the dogs… Believe it or not, I was repulsed by all the dogs. The dogs were actually well behaved. Don’t get it twisted though… It was a couple of folks there with some stinky, funky dogs. I don’t know why anyone would leave their homes, get on a plane, and come to a nice hotel, without bathing their dog. That’s the least you could do. Plus, the dogs deserve to be clean. They are working hard. Why not keep them clean?

I actually hung out with a very nice young woman from Ohio, who happened to have a guide dog. She took care of her dog very well. I never once smelled him. She kept him clean the whole week. Boy, I certainly appreciated that.

About my roommate… She was so kind, sweet, and loving. The week was made better because of her. She was very helpful. Thankfully, she had some really good eyesight. She assisted me in becoming familiar and oriented to the hotel. My life was made better because of this young woman. May God richly bless her life! By the way… She didn’t have a guide dog. (smile)

The sessions at the conference were okay. I actually thought they were a little useless and lacked in real substance. But that’s me. Overall, the conference was nice.

I felt really good about being around so many productive, employed, articulate blind people. Being blind didn’t seem so tragic that week.

Let me talk about the exhibit hall before I bring this to a close. It was great!!! There were all types of venders in this large room. Interestingly enough, the blind people were expected to navigate in this room, go from table to table, and not get lost in the process. After I managed to get over the idea that I wouldn’t be able to navigate in this room with my confidence and sexiness in tact, I became even more confident and sexy. LOL I whipped out my cane, constructed a smile on my face, and felt my way from table to table.

If no one greeted me, I would announce my presence and inquire about their exhibit. I couldn’t believe it. I really can’t believe it now. I actually extended myself more than I ever-ever imagined. There was even a time that I went to a table that had no one there. But I didn’t know that. I was introducing myself to the air. That was totally unsexy. But I just took a deep breath and went to the next table. I just hoped that since I was at the blind convention, no one noticed. And if they did, we were at the blind convention. Some things were to be expected.

I was very pleased to see all the new technology that’s currently available for the blind. Color identifiers, currency identifiers, new talking GPS systems, a talking bar code scanner… They even had a digital camera that a blind person can use to take a snapshot of print, and the device will actually read the print back aloud in a matter of seconds. Revolutionary! So many products… No money to buy them… The average price for an electronic notetaker is over $2K. And the camera/portable text to speech scanner is $3500. I need a rich man or a high paying job. Either one would satisfy me.

My birthday was great. My babysister joined me in Florida. We had a good time together. The beach was a fantastic experience. But I’ll talk about it later. This entry is already much too long.

Well, I’ll find myself back on this blog real soon. I have to talk about my trip to NYC the next time. I promise this is the last of the long entries for a while. Be encouraged, productive, and aware of your potential.

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