Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cafe de las Sonrisas

The absolute highlight for us was going to Granada to the Cafe de las Sonrisas.  We had read an article about this last spring and knew we had to get there !
Smiles !!
This cafe has sign language on the walls, pictures and words for the menu, and "buttons" on the table so people who do not know sign language can interact with the server.  Yes, all employees are deaf !  The coffee was amazing and the food was delicious.  More important, was the smiles.
We are all smiles!
We had the opportunity to visit with the owner, Tio Antonio who is from Spain.  Five years ago he began employing individuals who were deaf, blind or from extremely impoverished families.  Their job? Weaving hammocks.  He wanted to provide job opportunities for those who would otherwise have none.  The hammocks are beautiful, soft and hand-made.  We got to lay in several of them while visiting with the workers.  Tio used the profits to start the cafe-- the first in the Americas.
He is trying to weave at least one row.
Jonathan and I have talked before about the potential of something similar in Omaha.  Neither of us have the skill set to do it, but we do know a deaf man (my former student) who has had training in culinary arts.  But-- to see it in the second poorest country in the western hemisphere was what we needed to maybe start the talks and brainstorming again.

I'm excited to go back to pick up Jonathan's hammock and Maia's hammock chair.  Jonathan actually got to "try" and weave a row of his own hammock.  The deaf man working on it made it look as easy as breathing.  Jonathan was smiling the whole time he was struggling!!  :-)
Julie Delkamiller

Monday, June 25, 2012


The Starfish Story continues to be my inspiration!

A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!”

The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied,

“Well, I made a difference to that one!!"

Julie Delkamiller